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Full text of "The power of sympathy: or, The triumph of nature. Founded in truth"



BOUGHT WITH THE INCOME 
FROM THE 

SAGE ENDOWMENT FUND 

THE GIFT OF 

ilenrg m. Sage 

1S91 



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Cornell University Library 
PS 700.A1P88 1894 



The power of sympathyior. The triumph of 




3 1924 021 986 306 




Cornell University 
Library 



The original of this bool< is in 
the Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 



http://www.archive.org/details/cu31924021986306 



The Power of Sympathy. 



VOL. /. 



The impression of this Edition consists of ^^o Copies, 
of which this is No. vl 'O 



l-ftlufet^^. 




'^0 Mz./al/ ^/oA Q0fUmi:/ 



CDttcD b^ Walter i^ittlefielD. 



THE POWER OF SYMPATHY: 

or, the Triumph of Nature. 

Founded in Truth. 



BY 



MRS. PEREZ MORTON 

(SARAH WENTWORTH APTHORP). 
Wz'f/i Frontispiece. 




BOSTON: PKlNTED'sr-CUPPLES 
^PATTERSON^AND-rUBLISH^ 
ED*BY-THEM*AT*THE-BACK 
BAY* BOOKSTORE " 250 ♦ BOYU 
STON' STREET 



Copyright, 1894, 
By Walter Littlefield, 



All Rights Reset ved. 



THE 

POWER OF SYMPATHY: 

OR. THE 

TRIUMPH OF NATURE. 

FOUNDED m TRUTH. 
I N TWO VOLUMES. 



VOL. I. 



Fain would he Itrew Life's thorny Way with Flowers, 
And open to your View £lyfian Bowers ; 
Catch the warm Paffions of the .tender Youth, 
And win the Mind to Sentiment and Truth. 




PRINTED at BOSTON 

BY ISAIAH THOMAS and Company. 

Sold at their Bookftore, No. 45, Newbury Street, 

And at faid Thomas's Bookftore in Worcester. 

MDCCLXXXIX. 



TO THE 



YOUNG LADIES, 



. OF 



XDiiitteb Columbia, 

Intended to reprefent the fpecious Causes, 

AND TO 

Expofe- the fatal Consequences 



OF 



SEDUCTION; 

To infpire the Female Mind 
With a principle of Self Complacency 

AND TO 
Promote the Economy of Human Life, 

With Efteerti and Sincerity, 
By their 
Friend and Humble Servant, 



Boston, Jan. 1789. 



Editor's Introduction. 




1 N errant perusal of half the pages of 
this little volume once caused me to 
determine to eschew literary criticism 
in the preface I was asked to write, 
and to speak of the book solely ac- 
cording to its historical and hence its intrinsic 
I value. 

Continual reading here and there, and, at length, 
a careful examination of the work as a whole have 
convinced me that several merits may be attributed 
to the book which range themselves separately in 
my mind and which are distinct and wholly unique 
characteristics. They seem to me to be as follows : 
the bare antiquarian value — as a relic, rare, and 
old ; the historical-literary value, as an expression 
of the times in which it was written ; and its purely 
artistic worth, as a specimen of English novel 
writing. 



X Editor s Introduction. 

The book was published, as the title page shows, 
early in 1789, and the self-acknowledged author 
was Mrs. Perez Morton whose maiden name was 
Sarah Wentworth Apthorp. Miss Apthorp was 
born in Braintree in 1759, and had, before her 
marriage in 1777 with Mr. Morton, gained some- 
thing more than a local reputation as a clever 
maker of rhymes, having contributed many poems 
to the early New England Magazine — the first 
periodical published in America. These, with 
additional verses and short .didactic essays, were 
together brought out in 1823, under the title of 
" My Mind and Its Thoughts." The edition was 
small, and sold entirely by subscription. Miss Ap- 
thorp wrote over the pseudonym of " Philenia." 
Her longer poems, epics, are " Ouabi, or The Vir- 
tue of Nature : an Indian Tale in Four Cantos," and 
" Beacon Hill," in which is told the story of the 
American Revolution. Thi's last is said to have 
moved Robert Treat Paine to designate her as the 
"American Sappho." 

In 1788, while Mr. and Mrs. Morton were occupy- 
ing the historical Taylor mansion in Dorchester, a 
painful domestic tragedy occurred, which, taken in 
connection with similar contingencies that were 
happening in the society in which they moved. 



Editors Introdiiction. xi 

doubtless gave " Philenia " the impetus and raison 
d'itre for the "Power of Sympathy," published 
anonymously the following year. 

Although evidently written with the purest mo- 
tive, the good people' of that day were not anxious to 
receive the lesson, probably because many of them 
figured as examples. The edition was bought 
up and destroyed, — as Drake remarks in his 
"History of Roxbury", "so effectually suppressed 
that no copy is now known to exist." With the ex- 
ception of the book now before me, I believe this to 
be true. 

The condition of affairs in America, immediately 
following the Revolution, was not what many sup- 
pose. The people were not completely united in 
raving against John Bull and his institutions. It 
is true the lower classes and those of the middle 
class, who had been excited into believing that de- 
.lusive and, for them, hypocritical motto ; " No taxa- 
tion without representation," or who had gained 
or lost all through the late fratricidal struggle, 
were thriving wonderfully on "spread eagle" patri- 
otism stimulated by " Yankee Doodle " and " Hail 
Columbia " — which, today, unfortunately bandage 
the eyes of America's native civilizatioij — and en- 



xii Editor s Introduction. 

tertained a cordial hatred of England and all things 
English. Later they were to sympathize with Mira- 
beau, with Robespierre and others, and cry death to 
that French King who had so lately saved them 
from the dismal caprices of George III and his 
ignorant and haughty ministers. Politically, they 
gloried in the name of Democrat. 

Nevertheless, there existed an aristocracy in 
America ; an aristocracy that had refrained from be- 
coming Tory solely because personal interest de- 
manded that it should become rebel. Its members 
were English in taste and manner, in their hearts 
they were Royalists. They called themselves Fed- 
eralists. To this category belonged the Hancocks, 
John Adams, Hamilton, perhaps even Washington 
himself ; and here we find the Apthorps and the 
Mortons. They had a fondness for court and cere- 
mony — thought and culture were still colonial; 
they talked of the American gentleman, while they 
dreamed of the English nobleman ; for all that, 
there was a rapidly growing strain of independ- 
ence, of confidence in self. All of which qualities 
have today evolved the best type of the American 
lady and gentleman. 

Early in the second half of the eighteenth cen- 



Editors Introduction. xiii 

tury, a literary revolution was in progress in Eng- 
land : sentimentalism, which so long had been 
mistaken for sentiment, was given its proper place ; 
knightly romance was sneered at and shelved, the 
hale hearty laughter of Fielding disturbed the 
spinsters and gossip mongers sipping their tea in the 
corners ; Laurence Sterne, that sentimentalist in 
realism, condemned in caricature what the foolish 
thought he defended in truth ; and Sheridan, the 
hater of sham and conventionality, satirized the 
social deformity of the times in drama, drawing 
scenes and characters from real life as found in the 
famous Pump-room at Bath. 

■ To the aristocracy — hence to the reading class 
— of the young American republic this atmospheric 
change, toned and tempered and with an influence 
less radical, was transmitted. It cried out aloud 
against the sham of character, while it maintained 
the poetry of diction ; it was realistic in subject, 
romantic in method ; it openly lauded the " Senti- 
mental Journey," while it secretly emulated "Tom 
Jones"; its aim was to portray life through truth 
rather than art — but the latter often unconsciously 
asserted itself ; its grave defect was the attempt to 
commingle art and moral philosophy. In this liter- 
ary atmosphere the " Power of Sympathy " was 



xiv Editor s Introduction. 

written, in character and color colonial, indigenous, 
to English soil, and true to humanity at all time. 

A little more than a century ago the style of 
telling a story through the medium of epistles 
was revived ; it was thus Richardson wrote 
" Clarissa Harlowe " and " Pamela," and Fielding 
his "Jose|3h Andrews." In this fcrm Mrs. Morton 
sought to tell her story. 

Both Richardson and Fielding are famous for 
the amount of detail with which they fetter some 
otherwise natural descriptions leaving no oppor- 
tunity for the. imagination. Tedious detail we do 
not find in the pages of the. " Power of Sympathy " 
— all here is not written ; the ■ phraseology is well 
balanced, paragraphing is handled with consummate 
skill, the chapters are for the most part short, the 
color suggestive ; and if detail be employed at all, 
it is only when the author waxes mildly pedantic — 
robbed of which quality, she would not be true 
to the humanity of her time. 

What then can I say of her diction ? Simply that 
it is of the best. To say so, is seemingly audacious. 
The modern grammarian may dispute it. Yet 
viewed against the background of her period and 
station, taking her style all in all as a medium of 



Editors Introduction. xv 

vivid, natural expression, where the economy of at- 
tention is second only to striking portrayal, where 
elegance, simplicity, directness are ever present but 
never obtrusive, there is reason enough for our re- 
mark. An examination of the suicide's letters alone 
would excuse us from all prejudice in the matter. 

The " Power of Sympathy," in facsimile form, is 
surely a valuable acquisition to the antiquarian ; to 
the student of culture, the book is the realistic ex- 
pression of life of a people and an era that are by 
no means lacking in interest and importance ; and 
to the litterateur, it is not an unworthy example of 
more than ordinary literary art. 

WALTER LITTLEFIELD. 

Boston, June 19, 1894. 





NOVELS have ever met with a ready- 
reception into the Libraries of the Ladies, but 
this species of writing hath not been received 
with universal approbation: Futihty is not 
the only charge brought against it — Any 
attempt, therefore, to make these studies 
more advantageous, has at least a claim upon 
the patience and candour of the publick. 

IN NOVELS which expose no particular 
VICE, and which recommend no particular 
Virtue, the fair Reader, though she may find 
amusement, must finish them without being 
impressed with any' particular idea : So that 
if they are harmless, they are not beneficial. 

OF 



PREFACE. 

OF the Letters before US, it is necessary 
to remark, that this errour on each side has 
been avoided — the dangerous consequences 
of SEDUCTION are exposed, and the 
Advantages of FEMALE EDUCATION 
set forth and recommended. 




The Power of Sympathy. 

LETTER I. 

Harrington to Worthy. 

YOU may now felicitate me — I 
have had an interview with the charmer I 
informed you of. Alas ! where were the 
thoughtfulness and circumspection of my 
friend Worthy? I did not possess them, and 
am graceless enough to acknowledge it. He 
would have considered the consequences, be- 
fore he had resolved upon the project. But 
you call me, with some degree of truth, a 
strange medley of contradiction — the mor- 
alist and the amoroso — the sentiment and 
the sensibility — are interwoven in my consti- 
tution, 



2 t\)t ^otoer of ^^mpatli?, 

tution, so that nature and grace are at contin- 
ual fisticuffs — To the point : — 

I PURSUED my determination of discover- 
ing the dweUing of my charmer, and have at 
length obtained access. You may behold 
my Rosebud, but should you presume to 
place it in your bosom, expect the force of 
my wrath to be the infallible consequence. 

I DECLARED the sincerity of my passion — 
the warmth of my affection — to the beautiful 
Harriot — Believe me, Jack, she did not seem 
inattentive. Her mein is elegant — her dis- 
position inclining to the melancholy, and yet 
her temper is affable, and her manners easy. 
And as I poured my tender vows into the 
heart of my beloved, a crimson drop stole 
across her cheek, and thus I construe it in 
my own favor, as the sweet messenger of 
hope : — 

"DO 



t\)t potofr of §>^nipatl)s, 3 

" DO not wholly despair, my new friend ; 
excuse the declaration of a poor artless 
female — you see I am not perfectly contented 
in my situation — (Observe, /«f^, I have not 
the vanity to think this distress altogethei' 
upon my account) — Time may therefore diS' 
close wonders, and perhaps more to your 
advantage than you imagine — do not despaii 
then." 

SUCH vulgar, uncongenial souls, as that 
which animates thy clay, cold carcase, would 
have thought this crimson drop nothing more 
than an ordinary blush". Be far removed- 
from my heart such sordid, earth-born ideas : 
But come thou spirit of celestial language, 
that canst communicate by one affectionate 
look — one tender glance — more divine infor-" 
mation to the soul of sensibility than can be 
contained in myriads of volumes ! 

HAIL gentle God oiLove! While thou 

rivetest 



4 tljc ^oiBcr of ^^mpatlti^* 

rivetest the chains of thy slaves, how dost thou 
make them leap for joy, as with deHcious tri- 
umph. Happy enthusiasm ! that while it 
carries us away into captivity, can make the 
heart to dance as in the bosom of content. 
Hail gentle God oi Love\ Encircled as thou 
art with darts, torments, and ensigns of cru- 
elty, still do we hail thee. How dost thou 
smooth over the roughness and asperities of 
present pain, with what thou seest in rever- 
sion ! Thou banishest the Stygian glooms of 
disquiet and suspense, by the hope of appro- 
aching Elysium — Blessed infatuation ! 

I DESIRE you will not hesitate to pro- 
nounce an amen to my Hymn to Love, as an 
unequivocal evidence of your wish for my 
success. 



LETTER 



t:^t joiner of ^smpatt)^* 



LETTER 11. 

Wdriky to Harrington. 

"WISH you success" — In what? 
Who is this lady of whom you have been talk- 
ing at such an inconsistent rate ? But before 
you have leisure to reply to these inquiries 
you may have forgotten there is such a per- 
son, as she whom you call Harriot — I have 
seen many juvenile heroes, during my pilgrim- 
age of two and twenty years, easily inflamed 
with new objects — agitated and hurried away 
by the. impetuosity of new desires — and at 
the same time they were by no means famous 
for solidity of judgement, or remarkable for 
the permanency of their resolutions. There 
is such a tumult — such an ebullition of the 

brain 



6 t^t potDer of ^^mpatlj^* 

brain in their paroxisms of passion, that this 
new object is very superficially examined. 
These, added to partiality and prepossession, 
never fail to blind the eyes of the lover. In- 
stead of weighing matters maturely, and stat- 
ing the evidence fairly on both sides, in order 
to form a right judgement, every circum- 
stance not perfectly coincident with your par- 
ticular bias, comes not . under consideration, 
because it does not flatter your vanity. "Pon- 
der and pause " just here, and tell me seriously 
whether you are in love, and whether you 
have sufficiently examined your heart to give 
a just answer. 

f DO you mean to insinuate that your declar- 
ation of love hath attracted the affection of 
the pensive Harriot? If this should be the 
case, I wish you would tell me what you de- 
sign to do with her. 

LETTER 



t\)t IBoiDer of ^^mpuW' 



LETTER III. 

Harrington to Worthy. 

Boston. 

I CANNOT but laugh at your dull 
sermons, and yet I find something in them 
altogether displeasing ; for this reason I per- 
mit you to prate, on. " Weigh matters ma- 
turely ! " Ha ! ha ! why art thou not arrayed 
in canonicals .? " What do I design to do 
with her t " Upon my word, my sententious 
friend, you ask mighty odd questions. I see 
you aim a stroke at the foundation upon 
which the pillar of my new system is reared — 
and will you strive to batter down that pillar ? 
If you entertain any idea of executing such 
talk, I foresee it will never succeed, and advise 

i you 



8 t\)t pofcocr of ^^mpatl)^. 

you timely to desist. What ! dost thou think 
to topple down my scheme of pleasure ? 
Thou mightest as well topple down the pike 
of Teneriffe. 

I SUPPOSE you will be ready to ask, why, 
if I love Harriot, I do not marry her — Your 
monitorial correspondence has so accustomed 
me to reproof, that I easily anticipate this piece 
of impertinence — But who shall I marry? 
That is the question. Harriot has no father 
— no mother — neither is there aunt, cousin, 
or kindred of any degree who claim any kind 
of relationship to her. She is companion to 
Mrs. Francis, and, as I understand, totally de- 
pendent on that lady. Now, Mr. Worthy, I 
must take the liberty to acquaint you, that I 
am not so much of a republican as formally to 
wed any person of this class. How laughable 
would my conduct appear, were I to trace 
over the same ground marked out by thy im- 
maculate 



^Ije |0otocr of ^^mpatlj^. 9 

maculate footsteps — To be heard openly 
acknowledged for my bosom companion, my 
daughter of the democratick empire of virtue! 

TO suppose a smart, beautiful girl, would 
continue as companion to the best lady in 
Christendom, when she could raise herself to 
a more eligible situation, is to suppose a sole- 
cism;^ — She might as well be immured in a 
nunnery. Now, Jack, I will shew you my 
benevolent scheme ; it is to take this beauti- 
ful sprig, and transplant it to a more favorable 
soil, where it shall flourish and blossom under 
my own auspices. In a word, I mean to re- 
move this fine girl into an elegant apartment, 
of which she herself is to be the sole mistress. 
Is this not a proof of my humanity and good- 
ness of heart } But I know the purport of 
your answer — So pray thee keep thy com- 
ments to thyself, and be sparing of your com- 
pliments on this part of my conduct^for I do 

not 



lo ^l)e |0otocr of ^^mpatl)^. 

not love flattery. A month has elapsed since 
my arrival in town. What will the revolution 
of another moon bring forth ? 

Your &c. 



LETTER 



t\)e joiner of fe^mpatt)^. 



II 



LETTER IV. 

Miss Harriot Fawcet 

to Miss Myra Harrington. 

Boston. 

I HAVE somehow bewitched a 
new lover, my dear Myra — a smart, clever 
fellow too — and the youth expresses such 
fondness and passion that I begin to feel 
afraid even to pity him — for love will cer- 
tainly follow. I own to you I esteem him 
very much, but must I go any farther } He 
is extremely generous — polite — gay — and 
I believe if you were to see him, your partial- 
ity in his favor would exceed mine. 

I NEVER saw my poor swain so seemingly 

disconcerted 



12 t-\)t ^oijitt of ^^ntpatt)^. 

disconcerted and abashed as he was a few 
days ago — he appeared to have something 
very particular to communicate, but his 
tongue f aultered — ought not one to help out 
a modest youth in such cases ? 

Yours &c. 



LETTER 



Z\)t poturr of ^^mpm^^* 13 



LETTER V. 

Miss Myra Harrington to Mrs. Holmes. 

Boston. 

ARE the rural pleasures of Belle- 
view, my dear friend, so engaging as to debar 
us of the pleasure of your company forever ? 
Do your dear groves, and your books, still 
employ your meditating mind ? Serious sen- 
timentalist as you are, let me ask, whether a 
Ball, a Concert or Serenade, would not afford 
you the satisfaction of a contemplative walk 
in your garden, listening to the love tales of 
the melodious inhabitants of the air ? 

RAILLERY apart — when shall I take upon 

myself 



14 t\)t potDcr of ^^mpatl)^. 

myself the honour to wait upon you here ? — .1 
want to advise with you on certain points of 
female conduct, and about my new dress — I 
have heard you say, lessons to a volatile mind 
should be fresh and fresh applied, because it 
either pretends to despise them, or has a tend- 
ency to degeneracy — Now you must know I 
am actually degenerating for want of some of 
your Mentor-like lessons of instruction. I 
have scarcely any opinion of my own, these 
fashions, changing about so often, are enough 
to vitiate the best taste in the world. 

I FORGOT to tell you my brother has 
been at home this month ; but, from certain 
indubitable symptoms, I suspect the young 
man to be in love. 

HEIGHHO ! what is become of Worthy 1 
The time of my liberty steals away, for you 
know I was to have three or four months of 

liberty 



Z\)t poijatt of ^^mpatl)]?, 15 

liberty before I gave myself up to his author- 
ity, a"nd relinquished all my right and title to 
the name of 

Harrington. 



LETTER 



1 6 t\)t |0otocr of ^^mpuW. 



LETTER VI. 

Harriitgtoit to Worthy. 

Boston. 

ABASHED —confounded — defeated — I 
waited upon my beloved with my head well 
furnished with ready made arguments, to pre- 
vail on her to acquiesce in my benevolent 
schemes — she never appeared so amicable — 
grace accompanied every word she uttered, 
and every action she performed. " Think, my 
love," said I, in a tone something between 
sighing and tears, and took her hand in a 
very cordial manner, — " Think, my love, on 
your present, unhappy, menial situation, in 
the family of Mrs. Francisr I enlarged on 
the violence of my passion — expatiated most 

metaphysically 



t\)t |0otocr of g)^mpatl)^. 1 7 

metaphysically on our future happiness ; and 
concluded by largely answering objections. 
" Shall we not," continued I, " obey the dic- 
tates of nature, rather than confine ourselves 

to the forced, unnatural rules of and — 

and shall the halcyon days of youth slip 
through our fingers unenjoyed ? " 

DO you think, Worthy, I said this to Har- 
riot? — Not a syllable of it. It was impossi- 
ble — my heart had the ^courage to dictate, 
but my rebellious tongue refused to utter a 
word — it faultered — stammered — hesi- 
tated. 

THERE is a language of the eyes — and we 
conversed in that language ; and though I 
said not a word with my tongue, she seemed 
perfectly to understand my meaning — for she 
looked — (and I comprehended it as well as if 
she had said) — Is the crime of dependence 
to be expiated by the sacrifice of virtue ? 

And 



1 8 t\)z ^oiatt of gj^mpatl)?. 

And because I am a poor, unfortunate girl, 
must the little I have be taken from me? 
" No, my love," answered I, passionately, " it 
shall not be." 

OF all those undescribable things which in- 
fluences the mind, and which are most apt to 
persuade — none is so powerful an orator — 
so feelingly eloquent as beauty — I bow to 
the all-conquering force of Harriot's elo- 
quence — and what is the consequence ? I 
am now determined to continue my addresses 
on a principle the most just, and the most 
honourable. 

HOW amiable is that beauty which has its 
foundation in goodness ! Reason cannot con- 
template its power with indifference — Wis- 
dom cannot refrain from enthusiasm — and 
the sneering exertions of Wit cannot render 
it ridiculous. There is a dignity in conscious 
virtue that all my independence cannot bring 

me 



t\)t ^oiDcr of ^^mpatt)^. 19 

me to despise — and if it be beauty that sub- 
dues my heart, it is this that completes the 
triumph — It is here my pompous parade, and 
all my flimsy subterfuges, appear to me in 
their proper light. In fine, I have weighed 
■matters maturely, and the alternative is — 
Harriot must be mine, or I miserable without 
her. — I have so well weighed the matter that 
even this idea is a flash of joy to my heart — 
But, my friend, after the lightning comes the 
thunder — my father is mortally averse to my 
making any matrimonial engagement at so 
early a period — this is a bar to my way, but 
I must leap over it. 

Adieu ! 



LETTER 



20 t\)t potocr of ^^mpattiv. 



LETTER VII. 

Mrs. Holmes to Miss Harrington. 

Belleview. 

ALTHOUGH my attachment 
to Belleview is not so romantick as your airy 
pen has described it, I think its quiet and 
amusements infinitely preferable to the bustle 
and parade with which you are surrounded. 

THE improvements made here by my late 
husband (who inherited the virtues of his par- 
ents, who still protect me, and endeavour to 
console the anguish of his loss by the most 
tender affection) have rendered the charms of 
Belleview superiour in my estimation to every 
gilded scene of the gay world. 

IT is almost vanity to pretend to give you 

a description 



t^t ^otocr of ^^mpul)^, 1 1 

a description of the beauty of the prospect — 
the grandeur of the river that rolls through 
the meadow in front of the house, or any 
eulogium of rural elegance, because these 
scenes are common to most places in the 
country. Nature is everywhere liberal in dis- 
persing her beauties and her variety — and I 
pity those who look round and declare they 
see neither. 

A GREAT pro portion of our happiness de- 
pends^on om ^own choice. — it offers itself to 
our taste, but it is the heart that gives it 
relish — what at one time, for instance, we 
think, to be humour, is at another disgustful 
or insipid — so, unless we carry our appetite 
with us to the treat, we shall vainly wish to 
make ourselves happy, " were I in a desert," 
says Sterne, " I would find wherewith in it to 
call forth my affections — If I could do no 
better, I would fasten them on some sweet 

myrtle. 



22 t\)t ^oiatx of ^^mpatt)^. 

myrtle, or seek some melancholy cypress to 
connect myself to — I wbuld court their shade 
and greet them kindly for their protection — 
If their leaves withered, I would teach myself 
to mourn, and when they rejoiced, I would 
rejoice along with them." 

I BELIEVE you could hardly find the way 
to the summer house, where we have enjoyed 
many happy hours together, and which you 
used to call " TAe Temple of Appllo." It is 
now more elegantly furnished than it formerly 
was, and is enriched with a considerable addi- 
tion to the library and musick. 

IN front of the avenue that leads to this 
place, is a fig-ure of Content, pointing with 
one hand to 'the Temple, and with the other 
to an invitation, executed in such an antique 
style, that you would think it done either by 
the ancient inhabitants of the country, or by 

the 



t\9t ^oiatt of ^^rnqpatl)^, 23 

the hand of a Fairy — she is very particular 
in the characters she invites, but those whom 
she invites she heartily welcomes. 

ISural ^Inscription. 

Come ye who loath the horrid crest, 

Who hate the fiery front of Mars ; 
Who scorn the mean, the sordid breast — 

Who fly Ambition's guilty cares : 
Ye who are blest with peaceful souls. 

Rest Here : Enjoy the pleasures round : 
Here Fairies quaffe their acorn bowls, 

And lightly print the mazy ground. 

Thrice welcome to this humble scene — 

(To ye alone such scenes belong) 
Peace smiles upon the fragrant green, 

And Here the Woodland sisters throng, 
And fair Contentment's pleasing train. 

Whilst in the Heav'n the stars advance, 
With many a maid and many a swain. 

Lead up the jocund, rural dance. 

Thrice welcome to our calm retreat, 
Where innocency oft hath strove 

With 



24 t\)t poiatv of g)^mpatl)s. 

With violet blue, and woodbine sweet, 
To- form the votive wreath to love : 

O ! pardon then, our cautious pride — 
(Caution, a virtue rare, I ween) 

For evils with the great abide, 

Which dwell not in our sylvan scene. 

THESE are the scenes to which I have 
chosen to retreat; contented with the suff- 
rage of the virtuous and the good, and inat- 
tentive to the contemptuous sneer of the 
giddy and the futile, for even ^Aese have fhe 
vanity to look with pity on those who volun- 
tarily remove from whatever agrees with ^Aetr 
ideas of pleasure. He who has no conception 
of the beauties of the mind, will contemn a 
person aukward or illfavoured ; and one 
whose store of enjoyment is drawn from afflu- 
ence and abundance, will be astonished at the 
conduct of him who finds cause to rejoice, 
though surrounded with inconvenience and 
penury. Hence we judge of the happiness of 

others 



tl)t |0otoetr of ^pmpatl)?, 25 

others by the standard of our own conduct 
and prejudices. 

FROM this misjudging race I retire, with- 
out a sigh to mingle in their amusements, nor 
yet disgusted at whatever is thought of suffi- 
cient consequence to engage their pursuits. I 
fiyfrom the tumult of the town — from scenes 
of boisterous pleasures and riot, to those of 
quietness and peace; " where every breeze 
breathes health, and every sound is the echo 
of tranquillity." — On this subject I give my 
sentiments to you with freedom, from a con- 
viction that I bear the world no spleen ; at 
the same time with a degree of deference to 
the judgement of others, from a conviction 
that I may be a little prejudiced. 

I HOPE to be with j^ou .soon — in the 
-meantime continue to write. 

Eliza Holmes. 

LETTER 



26 t\)t poJDtr of g>^mpat5s. 



LETTER VIII. 
Worthy to Harrington. 

New York. 

I APPLAUD your change of senti- 
ment. Harriot is a good girl, and your con- 
duct is extremely praiseworthy and honour- 
able. It is what her virtues incontestibly 
merit. — But I advise you certainly to gain 
your father's approbation before you proceed 
so far as to be unable to return. A contrary 
step might terminate in the utter ruin of you 

both. Direct to me at Belleview — for I 

intend to stop there in my return to Boston. 



LETTER 



t^t potDfr of ^?mpatl)B, 27 



LETtER IX. 
Harrington to Worthy. 



Boston. 



I HAVE had a conversation with 
my father on the subject of early marriages, 
but to no purpose — I will not be certain 
whether he understood my drift, but all his 
arguments are applicable to my situation. 
One must be an adept to argue with him; 
and interested as he thinks himself in the re- 
sult of the debate, he can not be prevailed 
upon to relinquish his settled opinion. I am 
too much chagrined to write to you even the 
heads of our conversation. I now stand upon 

my old ground. 

Adieu! 

LETTER 



t^jt |0oia)cr of §>^mpatl)T2, 



LETTER X. 

Worthy to Myra. 

Belleview. 

I AM very happy at present en- 
joying the sweets of Belleview with our excel- 
lent friend Mrs. Holmes. To dwell in this 
delightful retreat, and to be blest with the 
conversation of this amiable woman, cannot 
be called solitude. The charms of Nature 
are here beheld in the most luxuriant variety 
— it is here, diversified with beautiful pros- 
pect, the late Mr. Holmes planned his garden; 
it is elegant, but simple. My time glides off 
my hands most happily — I am sometimes 
indulging my solitary reflections in contem- 
plating 



t\)t potocr of g)?mpatlj^. 29 

plating the sublimity of the scenes around me 
— and sometimes in conversation with JS/zsa 
and the old people. 

THE old gentleman is a man of the most 
benevolent heart ; he continues to preach — is 
assiduous in the duties of his profession, and 
is the love and adrniration of his flock. He 
prescribes for the health of the body, as well 
as that of the soul, and settles all the little dis- 
putes of his parish. They are contented with 
his judgement, and he is at once their parson, 
their lawyer, and their physician. — I often 
read in the little building that was finished by 
his son. He was a man of an excellent taste, 
and I have paid my tribute to his memory^ 
It is the same place that you used to admire, 
and perhaps I improve more of my time in it 
on that very account. 

Adieu ! 

LETTER 



30 t\)t jaoiuei; of g>^mpatl)^. 



LETTER XL 

Mrs. Holmes to Myra. 

Belleview. 

I SIT down to give you, my dear 
Myra, some accounts of the visitants of to-day, 
and their conversation. We are not always 
distinguished by such company, but perhaps 
it is sometimes necessary; and as it is a relax- 
ation from thought, it serves to give us more 
pleasure in returning to the conversation of 
people of ideas. 

MRS. Bourn assumes a higher rank in life 
than she pretended to seven years ago. — She 
then walked on foot — she now, by good for- 
tune, rides in a chariot. Placed, however, in 

a situation 



tijt potoer of ^^mpatli^. 31 

a situation with which her education does not 
altogether comport, she has nothing disagree- 
able but her ov er assiduity to please — this is 
sometimes disgusting, for one cannot feast 
heartily upon honey : It is an errour which a 
candid mind easily forgives. She sometimes 
appears solicitous to display her mental ac- 
complishments, and desirous to improve those 
of her daughter ; but it is merely apparent. 
Notwithstanding a temporary wish may arise 
toward the attainment of this point, a habit- 
ual vacancy nips it in the bud. . 

MISS Bournis about the age of fourteen — 
genteel, with a tolerable share of beauty, but 
not striking — her dress was elegant, but 
might have been adjusted to more advantage 
— not altogether aukward in her manner, 
nor yet can she be called graceful — she has 
a peculiar air of drollery which takes her by 
iits, and for this reason, perhaps, does not 

avail 



32 ti}t poiner of g>i?ntpatti^. 

avail herself of every opportunity of display- 
ing the modesty of her sex — she has seen 
much company, but instead of polishing her 
manners, it has only increased her assurance. 

THUS much of the characters of our com- 
pany. After some small chat which passed as 
we took a turn in the garden, we entered the 
Temple. 

" WHAT books would you recommend to 
put into the hands of my daughter ? " said Mrs. 
Bourn^ as she walked into the library — " it is 
a matter of some importance." " It is a 
matter of more importance," answered Wor- 
.thy, " than is generally imaginedyjox-unless a 
proper selection is made one would do better 
never to read at all : — Now, Madame, as 
much depends on the choice of books, care 
should be taken not to put those in the way 
of young persons, which might leave on their 

minds 



t\)t potocr of ^^mpatl)^. 33 

minds any disagreeable prejudices, or which 
has a tendency to corrupt their friorals." — 
" As obvious as your remark is," added Mr. 
Holmes, " it is evidently over looked in the 
common course of education. We wisely ex- 
clude those persons from our conversation, 
whose characters are bad, whose manners are 
depraved, or whose morals are impure : but if 
they are excluded from an apprehension of 
contaminating our minds, how much more 
dangerous is the company of those books, 
where the strokes aimed at virtue are re- 
doubled, and the poison of vice, by repeatedly 
reading the same thing, indelibly distains the 
young mind ? " 

" WE all agree," rejoined Worthy, " that it 
is as great a matter of virtue and prudence 
to be circumspect in the selection of our 
books, as in the choice of our company. — 
But, Sir, the best things may be subverted to 

an ill 



34 ^t ^ofnzt of ^^mpat^)^. 

an ill use. Hence we may possibly trace the 
course of the ill tendency of many of the 
Novels extant." 

_. "MOST of the Novels," returned my 
father, " with which our female libraries are 
over run, are built on a foundation not always 
placed on strict morality, and in the pursuit 
of objects not always probable or praise- 
worthy. — Novels, not regulated on the chaste 
principles of true friendship, rational love, 
and connubial duty, appear to me totally un- 
fit to form the minds of women, of friends, or 
of wives." 

" BUT, as most young people read," says 
Mrs. Bourn — "what rule can be kii upon to 
make study always terminate to advantage ? " 

« IMPOSSIBLE," cried Miss, "for I read as 
much as anybody, and though it may afford 

amusement, 



t^t joiner of ^^nrpatljB. 35 

amusement, while I am employed, I do not 
remember a single word, when I lay down the 
book." 

"THIS confirms what I say of Novels," 
cried Mr. Holmes, addressing Worthy in a joc- 
ular manner, "just calculated to kill time — to 
attract the attention of the reader for an hour, 
but leave not one idea on the mind." 

" I AM far from condemning every produc- 
tion in the gross," replied Worthy; "general 
satire against any particular class, or order of 
men, may be viewed in the same light as a 
satire against species — it is the same with 
books — if there are corrupt or mortified 
members, it is hardly fair to destroy the whole 
body. Now I grant some Novels have a bad 
tendency, yet there are many which contain 
excellent sentiments — let these receive 
their deserved reward — let those be dis- 
countenanced; 



36 ti)t joiner of §>^mpatt)^. 

countenanced; and if it is impossible "to 
smite them with an apoplexy, there is a moral, 
certainty of their dying of a consumption." — 
But, as Mrs. Bourn observes, most young per- 
sons read, I will recommend to those who 
wish to mingle instruction with entertainment, 
method and regularity in reading. To dip 
into any book burthens the m.ind with un- 
necessary lumber, and may rather be called a 
disadvantage, than a benefit — The record of 
memory is so scrawled and blotted with im- 
perfect ideas, that not one legible character 
can be traced. 

" WERE I to throw my thoughts on this 
subject," said my good father-in-law, as he be- 
igan to entei; more and more warmly into the 
' debate — drawing his chair opposite Worthy, 
land raising his hand with a poetical enthusi- 
asm — "Were I to throw my thoughts on 
this subject into an Allegory, I would describe 

the 



t^t potBtt of ^pmpatl)^. 2>7 

the human mind as an extensive plain, and 
knowledge as the river that should water it. 
If the course of the river be properly directed, 
the plain will be fertilized and cultivated to 
advantage ; but if books, which are the sources 
that feed this river, rush into it from every 
quarter, it will overflow its banks, and the 
plain become inundated : When, therefore, 
knowledge flows on in its proper channel, 
this extensive and valuable field, the mind, in- 
stead of being covered with stagnant waters, 
is cultivated to the utmost advantage, and 
1 blooms luxuriantly into a general efBorescence 
— for a river properly restricted by high 
banks, is necessarily progressive." 

THE old gentleman brought down his 
hands with great solemnity, and we compli- 
mented him on his poetical exertion. " I can- 
not comprehend the meaning of this matter," 
said the penetrative Miss Bourn. " I will ex- 
plain 



38 t^t f ototr of ^^mpatt)^. 

plain it to you, my little dear," said he, with 
good nature — " If you read with any design to 
improve your mind in virtue and every amiable 
accomplishment, you should be careful to read 
methodically, .which will enable you to form an 
estimate of the various topicks discussed in 
company, and to bear a part in all those con- 
versations which belong to your sex — you 
see, therefore, how necessary general knowl- 
edge is — what would you think of a woman 
advanced in life, who has no other store of 
knowledge than what she has obtained from 
experience?" "I think she would have a 
sorry time of it," answered Miss. 

"TO prevent it in yourself," said' Mrs.' 
Bourn to her daughter, " be assiduous to lay 
in a good stock of this knowledge, while your 
mind is yet free from prejudice and care." 

. "HOW shall I go to work. Madam.? " en- 
quired the delicate daughter. 

MRS.' 



MRS. Bourn turned toward Mr. Holmes, 
which was hint enough for the good old man 
to proceed. 

" THERE is a medium to be observed," con- 
tinued he, " in a lady's reading ; she is not to 
receive everything she finds, even in the best 
books, as invariable lessons of conduct ; in 
books written in an easy, flowing style, which 
excel in description and the luxuriance of 
fancy, the imagination is apt to get heated — 
she ought, therefore, to discern with ah eye 
of judgement, between the superficial and 
penetrating — the elegant and the tawdry — 
what may be merely amusing, and what may 
be useful. General reading will not teach her 
a true knowledge of the world. 

" IN books she finds recorded the faithful- 
ness of friendship — the constancy of true 
love, and even that honesty is the best policy. 

If 



40 Z\)t ^oiBer of ^^mpatl)^. 

If virtue is represented carrying its reward 
with it, she too easily persuades herself that 
mankind have adopted this plan : Thus she 
finds, when, perhaps, it is too late, that she 
has entertained wrong notions of human 
nature ; that her friends are deceitful — her 
lovers false — and that men consult interest 
oftener than honesty. 

" A YOUNG lady who has imbibed her 
ideas of the world from desultory reading and 
placed confidence in the virtue of others, will 
bring back disappointment, when she expected 
gratitude. Unsuspicious of deceit, she is 
easily deceived — from the purity of her own 
thoughts, she trusts the faith of mankind, un- 
til experience convinces her of her errour — 
she falls a sacrifice to her credulity, and her 
only consolation is the simplicity and good- 
ness of her heart. 

"THE 



t\)t IBotner of g>^mpatl)v. 41 

" THE story of Miss Whitman* is an em- 
phatical illustration of the truth of these ob- 
servations. An inflated fancy not restricted 

by 

*THIS young lady was of a reputable family in Con- 
necticut. In her youth she was admired for beauty 
and good sense. She was a great reader of novels and 
romances, and having imbibed her ideas of the char- 
acters OF MEN, from those fallacious sources, became 
vairj and coquettish, and rejected several offers of mar- 
riage, in expectation of receiving one more agreeable to 
her fanciful idea. Disappointed in her fairy hope, 
and finding her train of admirers less solicitous for the 
honour of her hand, in proportion as the roses of youth 
decayed, she was the more easily persuaded to relin- 
quish that stability which is the honour and happiness 
of the sex. The consequences of her amour becoming 
visible, she acquainted her lover of her situation, and a 
HUSBAND was proposed for her, who was to receive a 
considerable sum for preserving the reputation of the 
lady ; but having received security for payment, he 
immediately withdrew. She then left her friends, and 
travelled in the stage as far as Watertown, where she 
hired a young man to conduct her in a chaise to Salem. 
Here she wandered alone and friendless, and at length 
repaired to the Bell-Tavern, in Danvers, where she 
was delivered of a lifeless child, and in about a fortnight 
after (in July, 1788) died of a puerperal fever, age 
about 35 years. 

Before her death she amused herself with reading, 
writing and needlework, and though in a state of anxiety, 
preserved a cheerfulness, not so much the effect of in- 
sensibility, 



42 t^e IQotoer of ^^mpatlj^. 

by judgement, leads too often to dzsa/>pomi- 
i^m/ and repentance. Such will be the fate 
of those who become (to use her own words) 

" Lost in the magick of that sweet employ, 

" To build GAY SCENES and fashion future joy." 

"WITH a good heart she possessed a poet- 
ical imagination, and an unbounded thirst for 
novelty; but these airy talents, not counter- 
poised with judgement, or perhaps serious re- 
flection 



sensibility, as of patience and fortitude. She was sensi- 
ble of her approaching fate, as appears from the follow- 
ing letter, which was written in characters. 

" MUST I die alone ? Shall I never see you 
more ? I know that you will come, but you will come 
too late : This is I fear, my last ability. Tears fall so, 
I know not how to write. Why did you leave me in so 
much distress .■■ But I will not reproach you : All that 
was dear I left for you ; but do not regret it. — May 
God forgive in both what was amiss : When I go from 
hence, I will leave you some way to find me ; if I die, 
will you come and drop a tear over my grave ? " 

In the following Poem, she, like the dying Swan, 
sings her own Elegy, and it is here added, as a sorrowful 
instance, how often the best, and most pleasing talents, 

not 



€^t joiner of ^pmpatt^. 43 

flection, instead of adding to her happiness, 
were the cause of her ruin." 

"I 



not accompanied by virtue and prudence, operate the 
destruction of their possessor. 

The description of her unfortunate passion, will re- 
mind the critical reader of the famous ode of Sappho. 
In genius and in misfortune, these poetical ladies were 
similar. 

" DISAPPOINTMENT. 

" WITH fond impatience all the tedious day 
I sigh'd, and wish'd the lingering hours away ; 
Por when bright Hesper led the starry train, 
My shepherd swore to meet me on the plain ; 
With eager haste to that dear spot I flew. 
And linger'd long, and then with tears withdrew : 
Alone, abandon'd to love's tenderest woes, 
Down my pale cheeks the tide of sorrow flows ; 
Dead to all joys that fortune can bestow, 
In vain for me her useless bounties flow ; 
Take back each envied gift, ye pow'rs divine. 
And only let me call FIDELIO mine. 

" Ah, wretch ! what anguish yet thy soul must prove, . 
Ere thou canst hope to lose thy care in love ; 
And when FIDELIO meets thy tearful eye. 
Pale fear and cold despair his presence fly ; 
With pensive steps, I sought thy walks again, 
And kiss'd thy token on the verdant plain ; 
With fondest hope, thro' many a blissful bow'r. 
We gave the soul to fancy's pleasing pow'r ; 

Lost 



44 t.\)t potDcr of g>^mpatl)^. 

" I CONCLUDE from your reasoning," 
said I, "and it is besides, my own opinion, 
that many fine girls have been ruined by read- 
ing Novels." 

"AND 

Lost in the magick of that sweet employ, 
To build gay scenes, and fashion future joy. 
We saw mild peace o'er fair Canaan rise. 
And show'r her blessings from benignant skies ; 
On airy hills our happy mansion rose, 
Built but for joy, no room for future woes ; 
Sweet as the sleep of innocence, the day, 
(By transports measur'd) lightly danc'd away ; 
To love, to bliss, the union'd soul was given, 
And each ! too happy, ask'd no brighter heaven. 

" And must the hours in ceaseless anguish roll ? 

Will no soft sunshine cheer my clouded soul ? 

Can this dear earth no transient joy supply ? 

Is it my doom to hope, despair and die ? 

Oh ! come, once more, with soft endearments come. 

Burst the cold prison of the sullen tomb ; 

Through favour'd walks, thy chosen maid attend. 

Where well known shades their pleasing branches bend. 

Shed the soft poison from thy speaking eye, 

And look those raptures lifeless words deny ; 

Still be, though late, reheard what ne'er could tire. 

But, told each eve, fresh pleasures would inspire ; 

Still hope those scenes which love and fancy drew ; 

But, drawn a thousand times, were ever new. 

" Can fancy paint, can words express ; 
Can aught on earth my woes redress ; 

E'en 



t\)t poiuer of g>?mpatl)s. 45 

" AND I believe," added Mrs. Bourn, " we 
may trace from hence the causes of spleen in 
many persons advanced in life." 

" YOU mean old maids, Madam," cries the 
sagacious Miss, "like my aunt Deborah — she 
calls all men deceitful, and most women, with 
her, are no better than they should be." 

" WELL said ! " exclaimed Worthy, " the 
recollection of chargin and former disappoint- 
ment, sours one's temper and mortifies the 
heart — disappointment will be more or less 



severe 



E'en thy soft smiles can ceaseless prove 
Thy truth, thy tenderness and love. 
Once thou couldst every bliss inspire, 
Transporting JOY, and gay DESIRE : 
Now cold DESPAIR her banner rears, 
And PLEASURE flies when she appears ; 
Fond HOPE within my bosom dies. 
And AGONY her place supplies : 
O, thou ! for whose dear sake I bear, 
A doom so dreadful, so severe. 
May happy fates thy footsteps guide, 
And o'er thy peaceful home preside ; 
Nor let ELIZA'S early tomb 
Infect thee, with its baleful gloom." 



46 2:ij0 potoer of ^^mpatliv. 

severe in proportion as we elevate our expec- 
tations ; for the most sanguine tempers are the 
soonest discouraged ; as the highest building 
is in the most danger of falling." 

"IT appears from what I have said," re- 
sumed Mr. Holmes, " that those books which 
teach us a knowledge of the world are useful 
to form the minds of females, and ought there- 
fore to be studied." 

I MENTIONED Rochefoucaulf s max- 
ims. — 

" DO they not degrade human nature t en- 
quired my father. 

"THIS little book," answered Worthy, "con- 
tains much truth — and those short sketches 
traced by the hand of judgement, present to 
us the leading features of mankind." "But," 

replied 



t\)t potoer of ^i^mpatlj^, 47 

replied my father, " that interest should assume 
all shapes, is a doctrine, which, in my mind, 
represents a caricature rather than a hving 
picture." " It is the duty of a painter to pro- 
duce a likeness," said Worthy, — " And a skil- 
ful one," cried my father, continuing the met- 
aphor, " will bring the amiable qualities of the 
heart to light ; and throw those which dis- 
grace humanity into the shade." " I doubt," 
rejoined Worthy, " whether this flattery will 
answer the purpose you aim to accomplish — 
You entertain a high opinion of the dignity of 
huma7t nature, and are displeased at the 
author who advances anything derogatory to 
that dignity. Swift, in speaking of these 
maxirhs, in one of his best poems, affirms, 

"They argue no corrupted mind 
" In him — the fault is in mankind." 

"AS I began this subject," added I, "it 
shall be ended by one observation — As these 

maxims 



48 t\)t ^oiatt of ^^mpatljB. 

maxims give us an idea of the manii'ers and 
characters of men, among whom a young per- 
son is soon to appear ; and as it is necessary 
to her security and happiness that she be 
made acquainted with them — they may be 
read to advantage." 

"THERE is another medium," said Mr. 
Holmes, assenting to my observation, " to be 
noticed in the study of a lady — she takes up 
a book, either for instruction or entertainment 

— the medum hes in knowing when to put it 
down. Constant apphcation becomes labour 

— it sours the temper — gives an air of 
thoughtfulness, and frequently of absence. 
By iminoderate reading w£-hQaxd__up— opinions 
and become insensibly attached to them ; this 
miserly conduct sinks us to affectation, and 
disgustful pedantry; conversation only can rem- 
edy this dangerous evil, strengthen the judge- 

nlent, 



8;t)0 poioer of ^^mpatlj^. 49 

ment, and make reading really useful. They 
mutually depend, upon, and assist each other. 

"A KNOWLEDGE of HISTORY which 
exhibits to us in one view the rise, progress 
and decay of nations — which points out the 
advancement of the mind in society, and the 
im.provements in the arts which adorn human 
nature, comes with propriety under the notice 
of a lady. To observe the origin of civiliza- 
tion — the gradual progress of society, and 
the refinements of manners, policy, morality 
and religion — to observe the progress of 
mankind from simplicity to luxury, from lux- 
ury to effeminacy, and the gradual steps of 
the decline of empire, and the dissolution of 
states and kingdoms, must blend that happy 
union of instruction and entertainment, which 
never fails to win our attention to the pursuit 
of all subjects. 

" POETRY claims her due from the ladies. 

POETRY 



50 t\)t |0otocr of §)^mpatl)^. 

POETRY enlarges and strengthens the mind, 
refines the taste and improves the judgement. 
It has been asserted that women have no bus- 
iness with sa^zre — now satire is but a branch 
of poetry. I acknowledge, however, much 
false wit is sent into the world, under this 
general title ; but no critick with whom I am 
acquainted ever called satire false wit — for as 
long as vice and folly continue to predominate 
in the human heart, the satirist will be consid- 
ered as a useful member of society. I believe 
Addiso7i calls him an auxiliary to the pulpit. 
Suffer me to enlarge on this new idea. Satire 
is the correction of the vices and follies of the 
human heart ; a woman may, therefore, read 
it to advantage. What I mean by enforcing 
this point, is, to impress the minds of females 
with a principle of self correction ; for among 
all kinds of knowledge which arise from read- 
ing, the duty of self-knowledge is a very emi- 
nent 



t\)t ^oiDtv of ^^mpatl)^. 5 1 

nent one ; and is at the same time, the most 
useful and important. 

"OUR ordinary intercourse with the world, 
will present to us in a very clear point of view, 
the fallacious ideas we sometimes entertain of 
our own self knowledge. — We are blinded by 
pride and self love, and will not observe our 
own iniperfections, which we blame with the 
greatest acrimony in other people, and seem 
to detest with the greatest abhorrence ; so 
that, it often happens, while we are branding 
our neighbour for some foible, or vanity, we 
ourselves are equally guilty. 

"RIDICULOUS as this conduct must 
appear in the eyes of all judicious people, it is 
too frequently practised to escape observa- 
tion. 

"I WILL drop this piece of morahty, with 
a charge to the fair reader, that whenever she 

discovers 



52 ^\)t |0oiDer of ^^mpat^)^ 

discovers satire, ridiculing or recriminating 
the follies or crimes of mankind, that she look 
into her own heart, and compare the strictures 
on the conduct of others with her own feel- 
ings." 



LETTER 



t\)t potocc of ^rntpatl)^. 53 



LETTER XII. 

Mrs. Holmes to Myra. 

In Continuation. 

MY good father-in-law being 
so strenuous in proving the ehgibihty of read- 
ing satire, had spurn out, what he called his 
new idea, to such a metaphysical nicety, that 
he unhappily diminished, the number of his 
hearers ; for Mrs. Bourn, to whom he directed 
his discourse, had taken down a book and was 
reading to herself, and Miss was diverting her- 
self with the cuts in Gays Fables. 

A CONSIDERABLE silence ensued, 
which Worthy first broke, by asking Mrs. 
Bourn what book she had in her hand. 

Everyone's 



54 2;i)e poiaet of §)^mpatl)^. 

Everyone's attention was alarmed at this im- 
portant enquiry. Mrs. Bourn, with little diffi- 
culty, found the title page, and began to read. 
" A Sentimental Journey through France and 
Italy, by Mr. Yorick." 

" I DO not like the title" said Miss Bourn. 

"WHY, my dear!" apostrophized the 
mother, "you are mistaken — it is a very 
famous book." 

"WHY, my dear ! " retorted the daughter, 
" It is sentimental — I abominate everything 
that is sentimental — it is so unfashionable 
too." 

" I NEVER knew before," said Mr. Holmes, 
" that wit was subject to caprice of fashion." 

"WHY 'Squire Billy," returned Miss, 
" who is just arrived from the centre of 

politeness 



tf)e ^Doijjcr of ^^mpatl)^. 55 

politeness and fashion, says the bettermost 
genii never read any sentimental books — so 
you see sentiment is out of date." 

THE company rose to go out. — 

"SENTIMENT out of date!" cries 
Worthy, repeating the words of Miss Bourn, 
and taking the book from her mother, as she 
walked towards the door — " Sentiment out of 
date — alas ! poor Yorick — may thy pages 
never be soiled by the fingers of prejudice." 
He continued his address to them, as they 
went out, in the same Shandean tone — 
''These antisentimentalists would banish thee 
from the society of all books ! Unto what a 
pitiful size are the race of readers dwindled ! 
Surely these antis have more to do with thee, 
than the gods of the Canaanites — In charac- 
ter and understanding they are alike — eyes 
have they, but they see not — ears have they, 
but they hear not, neither is there any knowl- 
edge 



56 t1)z poijitt of ^^ntpatltis. 

edge to be found in them." "It is hardly 
worth while to beat it into them," said my 
father-in-law, " so let us follow the company." 

WE did so — they walked toward the 
house, and Worthy and myself brought up 
the rear. 

I COULD not but remark, as we went on, 
that Miss Bourn had spoken the sentiments 
of many of her sex ; — " and whence," said I to 
Worthy, " arises this detestation of books in 
some of us females, and why are they enemies 
to anything that may be called sentiment and 
conversation : I grant it often happens there 
is such rapidity of speeches that one may be at 
a loss to distinguish the speakers ; but why is 
there such a calm silence, should an unfortu- 
nate sentiment inadvertantly — "I will tell 
you," interrupted he, " You all read, and it is 
from the books which engage your attention, 
that you generally imbibe your ideas of the 

principal 



ttje po)33tt of ^^mpatljB. 57 

principal subjects discussed in company — 
now, the books which employ your hours of 
study, happen to be Novels ; and the subjects 
contained in these Novels are commonly con- 
fined to dress, balls, visiting, and the like edi- 
fying topicks; does it not follow, that these 
must be the subjects of your conversation ? I 
will not dispute whether the Novel makes the 
woman, or the woman makes the Novel ; or 
whether they are written to engage your at- 
tention, or flatter your vanity. I believe the 
results will shew they depend, in some meas- 
ure, upon each other ; and an uninformed 
woman, by reading them, only augments the 
number of her futile ideas. The female mind, 
notwithstanding, is com,petent to any talk, and 
the accomplishments of an elegant woman 
depend on a proper cultivation of her intelli- 
gent powers ; a barrenness — a sterility of con- 
versation — immediately discovers where this 

cultivation is wanting." 

"GIVE 



58 Z\)e poion: of ^^ntpatl)^. 

" GIVE me leave," answered I, "to espouse 
the cause of this class of females. Tell me 
candidly, Mr. Worthy, whether that insipid 
flattery, perhaps sacrificed at the expense of 
truth, does not misguide many of us into er- 
roneous paths? You declare we are hand- 
some — and your conduct demonstrates you 
to be more solicitous for the possession of 
beautifiily than of fkental charms. Hence is 
the deluded female persuaded of the fofce of 
her fascinating powers, and vainly imagines, 
one glance of her eye sufficient to reduce a 
million of hearts whenever she chooses: Hei 
aims, therefore, are confined to the decora- 
tion of her person, and her views centre solely 
in finishing herself in those attractive, all- 
powerful graces, with which you declare your- 
selves to be enchanted. How then are they 
to be censured for neglecting to improve 
the mind, when your adulation diverts their 

attention to an external object ? " 

"I JOIN 



t))t potoer of ^^mpatlj^. 59 

"I JOIN with you," replied Worthy, "in 
calling it insipid flattery — and the vain cox- 
comb, the powdered beau, the insignificant 
petit mattre, are those who make use of it. 
Will women of real merit, and sound sense, 
believe what is said by them to be their real 
sentiments ? — No — There must be a con- 
geniality in the minds of those who give and 
receive flattery — Has not the vain coquette 
as much, inclination to be thought a goddess, 
as the empty admirer to declare her so? 

" FLATTERY is become a kind of epidemi- 
cal distemper: many run into it, perhaps, 
without designing it, or only through civility. 
There are some women who expect it — who 
dress to be admired — and who deem it a 
mark of impoliteness and rudeness in men, 
who do not pay them the tribute of compli- 
ment and adulation. A man of sense may 
comply with their expectation — he will still 

think 



6o t\)t pofcDcr of §>^mpatl^^. 

think then; agreeable playthings, to divert 
him at an hour of relaxation ; but I cannot 
suppose he will entertain any serious thoughts 
of a more per7nane7tt connection. 

" MAY we not conclude these things to be 
productive of many evils that happen in so- 
ciety — do they not frighten all sentiment 
from conversation — introduce affectation — 
pride — envy — clandestine marriages — 
elopements — division of families — and ulti- 
mately terminate in the ruin of very many 
innocent, but inconsiderate females ? " 

By this time we had got into the house, 
and our company soon after departed, leaving 
us at full leisure to contemplate on the many 
wrong ideas entertained, and fallacious steps 
pursued by the generality of mankind, in the 
sentimental part of female education. 

Adieu ! 

LETTER 



t\)t joiner of ^^mpatljB. 6i 



LETTER XIII. 

Worthy to Myra. 

Belleview. 

A PEACEFUL, recluse life, is suited to my 
temper — there is something in the soft 
breath of Nature — in the delicacy of smiling 
meadows and cultivated fields — in the sub- 
limity of an aged wood — of broken rocks — 
of rivers pouring along their lucid waves, to 
which the heart always give a ready reception 
— there is something within us congenial to 
these scenes ; they impress the mind with 
ideas similar to what we feel in beholding one 
whom we tenderly esteem. 

I WAS 



62 Z\)e |0otDer of g>^mpatt)5, 

I WAS making this observation to Mrs. 
Holmes, and she told me I was in love — 
"These are the very scenes," said she, "which 
your beloved Myra used to praise and admire, 
and for which you, by a secret sympathy, en- 
tertain the same predilection. The piece of 
embroidery which she worked at an early age, 
and which ornaments the Temple, I have seen 
you gaze upon several times — you seem to 
trace perfection in every part of it, because it 
was executed by the hand of Myra." 

I ACKNOWLEDGE I have often gazed 
upon it (as Mrs. Holmes terms it) but did not 
recollect it to be a piece of your work. I 
stole an opportunity to revisit it by myself 
and I instantly remembered it — I remem- 
bered when you finished it, and all the happy, 
inoffensive scenes of our childhood, returned 
fresh upon my heart. 

IT is the work Myra, said I to myself — 

Did 



ti)e potoer of g>^mpatl)^. 63 

Did not her fingers trace these beautiful ex- 
panding flowers ?' — Did she not give to this 
carnation its animated glow, and to this open- 
ing rose its languishing grace ? Removed as 
I am — continued I in a certain interiour lan- 
guage that every son of nature possesses — 
Removed as I am, from the amiable object of 
my tenderest affection, I have nothing to do 
but to admire this offspring of industry and 
art — It shall yield more fragrance to my soul 
than all the bouquets in the universe. 

I DID not care to pursue the thought — it 
touched a delicate string — at first, however, 
I flattered myself I should gain some consola- 
tion — but I lost in every reflection. 

I CONSIDERED the work as coming 
from your hand, and was delighted the more 
with it. A piece of steel that has been rubbed 
with a loadstone, retains the power of attract- 

mg 



64 ti)t |0otocr of S>^mpatl)^. 

ing small bodies of iron : So the beauties of 
this embroidery, springing from your hands, 
continue to draw my attention, and fill the 
mind with ideas of the artist. i 

Farewel ! 



LETTER 



2;t)c l^otDcr of ^^mpattj^. 65 



LETTER XIV. 

Harrington to Worthy. 

Boston. 

HOW incompetent is the force 
of words to express some peculiar sensations ! 
Expression is feeble when emotions are ex- 
quisite. 

I WISH you could be here to see with 
what ease and dignity everything comes from 
the hand of Harriot — I cannot give a de- 
scription equivalent to the great idea I wish 
to convey — You will tell me I am in love — 
What is love ? I have b,een trying to investi- 
gate its nature — to strip it of its mere term, 

and 



66 t\)t pomtt of g>^mpatt)^. 

and consider it as it may be supported by- 
principle — I might as well search for the 
philosopher's stone. 

EVERY one is ready to praise his mistress 
— she is always described in her " native 
simplicity," as " an angel " with a " placid 
mein," "mild, animated," "altogether captivat- 
ing,' and at length the talk of description is 
given up as altogether " undescribable." . Are 
not all these in themselves bare, insignificant 
words ? The world has so long been accus- 
tomed to hear the sound of them, that the 
idea is lost. But to the question — What is 
love ? Unless it is answered now, perhaps it 
never will be. Is it not an infinitude of graces 
that accompany everything said by Harriot ? 
That adorn all she does .? They must not be 
taken severally — they cannot be contem- 
plated in the abstract. — If you proceed to 
chymical analysis, their tenuous essence 

will 



£\)t |0otDer of ^^mpatl)^. 67 

will evaporate — they are in themselves noth- 
ing; but the aggregate is love. 

WHEN an army composed of a great 
number of men, moves slowly on at a dis- 
tance, nobody thinks of considering a single 
soldier. 

Adieu ! 



LETTER 



68 t\)t poton: of ^^mpatl)^. 



LETTER XV. 

Harringtoii to Worthy. 

Boston. 

AM I to believe my eyes — my ears — my 
heart! — and' yet I cannot be deceived. — 
We are generally most stupid and incredu- 
lous in what most materially concerns us. 
We find the greatest difficulty in persuading 
ourselves of the attainments of what we most 
ardently desire — She loves! — I say to my- 
self, " Harriot loves me," and I reverence my- 
self. 

I THINK I may now take upon me some 
share of happiness — I may say I have not 

lived 



Slje polner of ^^mpatlj?. 69 

lived in vain — for all my heart holds dear is 
mine — joy and love encompass me — peace 
and tranquillity are before me; the prospect 
is fair and promising as the gilded dawn of a 
summer's day — There is none to supplant 
me in her affections — I dread no rival, for 
our tempers are similar, and our hearts beat 
in unison together. 

Adieu ! 



LETTER 



70 t^i potoer of ^^mpatl)?. 



LETTER XVI. 

Harrington to Worthy. 

Boston. 

LOVE softens and refines the 
manners — polishes the asperities of aukward- 
ness, and fits us for the society of gentle be- 
ings. It goes further, it mends the heart, and 
makes us better men — it gives the faint- 
hearted an extraordinary strength of soul, and 
renders them equal and frequently superior to 
danger and distress. 

MY passions you know are quick, my prej- 
udices sometimes obstinate — She tells me 
these things are wrong — This gentle repri- 
mand is so tempered with love that I think 

she 



2:i)e ^oiau of ^i^mpatlj^. 7 1 

she commands me. I however promise a re- 
form, and am much pleased with my improve- 
ment. Harriot moulds my heart into what 
form she chooses. 

A LITTLE party is proposed to-morrow 
evening and I shall attend Harriot. These 
elegant relaxations prevent the degeneracy of 
human nature, exhilerate the spirits, and wind 
up this machine of ours for another revolution 
of business. 



LETTER 



72 tl)t J0otDer of ^smpatljB. 



LETTER XVII. 

Harrington to Worthy. 

Boston. 
OUR little party was over- 
thrown by a strange piece of folley. A Miss 

P was introduced, a young lady of beauty 

and elegant accomplishments. The whole 
company were beginning to be cheerful — 
business and care were disgusted at the sight 
of so many happy countenances, and had gone 
out from among us. Jollity and good humour 
bade us prepare for the dance — unhappily at 
this juncture a lady and a gentleman were en- 
gaged in a conversation concerning Miss 

P , and one of them repeated the words 

" a mechanick's daughter " — it is supposed the 

word 



t\)t ^otDcr of ^^mpatl)^. 73 

word " mechanick " was repeated scornfully — 
She heard it — thought herself insulted — and 
indignantly retired — disorder and confusion 
immediately took place, and the amusement 
was put an end to for the evening. 

I WISH people would consider how little 
time they have to f rollick here — that they 
would improve it to more advantage, and not 
dispute for, any precedence or superiority but 
in good nature and sociability — "a mechan- 
ick " — and pray whence the distinction ! 

INEQ UALITY among mankind is a foe 
to our happiness — it even affects our little 
parties of pleasure — Such is the fate of the 
human race, one order of men lords it over 
another ; but upon what grounds its right is 
founded I could never yet be satisfied. 

FOR this reason, I like a democratickal 
better than any other kind of government ; 

and 



74 t^i)t potuer of §>^mpatl)B, 

and were I a Lycurgus no distinction of rank 
should be found in my commonwealth. 

IN my tour through the United States, I 
had an opportunity of examining and com- 
paring the different manners and dispositions 
of the inhabitants of the several republicks. 
Those of the southern states, accustomed to a 
habit of domineering over their slaves, are 
haughtier, more tenacious of honour, and in- 
deed possess more of an aristocratick temper 
than their sisters of the confederacy. As we 
travel to the northward, the nature of the con- 
stitution seems to operate on the minds of the 
people — slavery is abolished— all men are de- 
clared free and equal, and their tempers are 
open, generous and communicative. It is the 
same in all those countries where the people 
enjoy independence and equal liberty. Why 
then should those distinctions arise which are 
inimical to domestick quietude .'' Or why 

should 



^\)t potocr of §>)?mpatl)^» 75 

should the noisy voice of those who seek dis- 
tinction, so loudly reechoe in the ears of peace 
and jollity, as to deafen the sound of the mus- 
ick ? For while we are disputing who shall 
lead off the dance, behold ! the instrument gets 
out of tune — a string snaps — and where is 
our chance for dancing ? 

Adieu ! 



LETTER 



76 t^t potoer of ^^mpatl)^. 



LETTER XVIIL . 

Harrington to Worthy. 

Boston. 

MY beloved has left me for 

a while — she has attended Mrs. Francis in a 

journey to Rhodeisland — and here am I — 

anxious — solitary — alone ! — 

NO thoughts, but thoughts of Harriot, are 

permitted to agitate me. She is in my view 

all the day long, and when I retire to rest my 

my imagination is still possessed with ideas of 

Harriot. 

Adieu ! 



LETTER 



t^t |0otoei: of ^^mpatlji^. 77 



LETTER XIX. 

Harrington to Harriot. 

Boston. 

IF a wish, arising from the most tender 
affection, could transport me to the object of 
my love, I persuade myself that you would not 
be troubled with reading this letter. 

YOU must expect nothing like wit or 
humour, or even common sense, from me ; wit 
and humour are flown with you, and your re- 
turn only can restore them. I am sometimes 
willing to persuade myself that this is the 
case — I, think I hear the well-known voice, 
I look around me with the ecstacy of Orpheus, 
but that look breaks the charm, I find my- 
self 



78 t\)t ^aoiuer of ^^mpatliv. 

self alone, and my Eurydice vanished to the 
shades. 

I HOPE you will not permit yourself to 
grow envious of the beauties of Rhodeisland. 
Of the force of their charms I am experiment- 
ally acquainted. Wherever fortune has 
thrown me, it has been my happiness to im- 
agine myself in love with some divine creature 
or other ; and after all it is but truth to de- 
clare that the passion was seated more in 
fancy than the heart; and it is justice to 
acknowledge to you that I am now more prov- 
ident of my passion, and never suffer the 
excursion of fancy, except when I am so lib- 
eral as to admit the united beauty of the 
Rhodeisland ladies in competition with yours. 

WHERE there are handsome women there 
will necessarily be fine gentlemen, 'and should 
they be smitten with yout external graces, I 
cannot but lament their deplorable situation, 

when 



tlje pofcDEr of ^^mpatt)^. 79 

when they discover how egregiously they 
have been cheated. What must be his disap- 
pointment, who thought himself fascinated by 
y-^beauty, when he finds he has unknowingly 

\ been charmed by reason and virtue ! 

l — 

BUT this you will say contains a sentiment 
of jealously, and is but a transcript of my 
apprehensions and gloomy anxieties : When 
will your preference, like the return of the 
sun in the spring, which dispels glooms, and 
reanimates the face of nature, quiet these 
apprehensions? If it be not in a short time, I 
shall proceed on a journey to find you out ; 
until then I commit you to the care of your 
guardian angel. 



LETTER 



8o t\)t pofcper of gj^mpatlip. 



LETTER XX. 

Harrington to Harriot. 

Boston. 

LAST night I went on a visit 
to your house: It was an adventure that 
would have done honour to the; Knight of La 
Mancha. The moon ascended a clear, serene 
sky, the air was still, the bells sounded the 
solemn hour of midnight — I sighed — and 
the reason of it I need not tell you. This 
was, indeed, a pilgrimage ; and no Musselman 
ever travelled barefooted to Mecca with more 
sincere devotion. 

YOUR absence would cause an insufferable 
ennui in your friends, were it not for the art 

we 



Z\)t pofcDcr of ^^mpatli^, 8 1 

we have in making it turn to our amusement. 
Instead of wishing you were of our party, you 
are the goddess in whose honour we performed 
innumerable Heathenish rites. Libations of 
wine are poured out, but not a guest presumes ^ 
to taste it, until they implore the name of 
Harriot ; we hail ' the new divinity in songs, 
and strew around the flowers of poetry. You 
need not, however, take to yourself any ex- 
traordinary addition of vanity on the occasion 
as your absence will not cause any repining : 

" Harriot our goddess and our grief no more." 

BUT to give you my opinion on this impor- 
tant matter, I must descend to plain truth, and 
acknowledge I had rather adore yon 2l preseitt 
mortal, than an absent divinity ; and therefore 
wish for your return with more religious 
ardour than a devout disciple of the false 
prophet for the company of the Houri. 

THANKS 



82 Z\)t IBotoer of g>^mpatl)^. 

THANKS to the power of imagination for 
our fanciful interview. Methought I some- 
where unexpectedly met you — but I was 
soon undeceived of my imaginary happiness, 
and I awoke, repeating these verses : — 

THOUGH sleep her sable pinions spread, 

My thoughts still run on you ; 
And visions hovering o'er my head, 

Present you to my view. 

By FANCY'S magick pencil drest, 

I saw my Delia move ; 
I clasp'd her to my anxious breast, 

With TEARS of joy and love. 

Methought she said — " Why thus forlorn? — 

Be all thy care resign'd : " — 
I 'woke and found my Delia gone. 

But still the TEAR behind. 



LETTER 



t\)t polBcr of g)^mpatl)^. 83 



LETTER XXI. 

Harriot to Myra. 

Rhodeisland. 

WE arrived here in safety, but 
our journey is not without incident — an inci- 
dent which exhibits a melancholy picture of 
the wickedness and depravity of the human 
heart. 

WHEN we came to the house of Mrs. 
Martin, who I suppose you know is cousin to 
Mrs. Francis, we were not a little astonished 
at the evident traces of distress in her counte- 
nance ; all her actions were accompanied 
with an air of solemnity, and her former gaiety 
of heart was exchanged for sad, serious 

thoughtf ulness : 



84 t)t potoer of S)^mpatl)^, 

thoughtfulness : She, however, put on a face 
of vivacity upon our being introduced, but her 
cheerfulness was foreign to the feeHngs of her 
heart. 

MR. Martm was equally agitated: he endeav- 
oured to dispossess himself of an uncommon 
weight of remorse, but in vain — all his dis- 
simulation could not conceal his emotion, nor 
his art abate the continual upbraidings of 
conscious guilt. 

MRS. Francis was anxious to enquire the 
cause of this extraordinary change, but wisely 
forebore adding to the distress of her friend, 
by desiring her to explain it, in a manner too 
precipitate. She was in a short time made 
acquainted with the particulars of the story — 
which is not more melancholy than un- 
common. 

SOMETIME after the marriage of Martin, 

the 



t^t potDcr of ^^mpatli^o 85 

the beautiful Ophelia, sister to Mrs. Martin, 
returned from a European visit to her friends 
in Rhodeisland. Upon her arrival, she re- 
iceved a polite offer from her brother-in-law 
of an elegant apartment of his house in 
town, which was cheerfully accepted — Fatal 
acceptation! He, had conceived a passion for 
Ophelia and was plotting to gratify it. By a 
series of the most artful attention^, suggested 
by a diabolical appetite, he insinuated himself 
into her affection — he prevailed upon the 
heart of the unsuspicious Ophelia, and tri- 
umphed over her innocence and virtue. 

THIS incestuous connection has secretly 
subsisted until the present time — it was in- 
terrupted by a sympton which rendered it 
necessary for Ophelia to retire mto the coun- 
try, where she was delivered of a child, at once 
the son and nephew of Martin. 

THIS 



86 t^c potDer of ^^mpatlj^, 

THIS event was a severe mortification to 
the proud spirit of Shepherd, the father of 
Ophelia. His resentment to his daughter was 
implacable, and his revenge of the injury 
from Martin not to be satiated. The blaze 
of family dispute raged with unquenchable 
fury — and poor Ophelia received other pun- 
ishment from the hand of a vindictive father 
than base recrimination. 

THE affection of Martin how became 
changed to the vilest hatred. 

THUS doomed to suffer the blackest in- 
gratitude from her seducer on the one hand, 
and to experience the severity of paternal 
vengence on the other — and before her the 
gloomy prospect of a blasted reputation — 
what must be the situation of the hapless 
Ophelia ! Hope, the last resort of the 
wretched, was forever shut out. There was 

no 



t\)e ^otoer of g»i?mpatt)^. 87 

no one whom she durst implore by the tender 
name of father, and he, who had seduced her 
from her duty and her virtue, was the first to 
brand her with the disgraceful epithets of un- 
dutiful and unchaste. 

PERHAPS it was only at this time, that 
she became fully sensible of her danger ; the 
flattery and dissimulation of Martin might 
have banished the idea of detection, and 
glossed over that of criminality ; but now she 
awoke from her dream of insensibility, she 
was like one who had been deluded by an 
ignis fatuus to the brink of a precipice, and 
there abandoned to his reflection to contem- 
plate the horrours of the sea beneath him, 
into which he was about to plunge. 

WHETHER from the promises of J/(2r/m, 
or the flattery of her own fancy, is unknown, 
but it is said she expected to become his wife, 

and 



88 t\)t laotDcr of g>sinpatl)^. 

and made use of many expedients to obtain a 
divorcement of Martin from her sister : But 
this is the breath of rumour : Allowing it to 
be truth, it appears to be the last attempt of 
despair ; for such unnatural exertions, with 
the compunction attending them, represent a 
gloomy picture of the struggle between sis- 
terly affection and declining honour. They 
however proved inavailable, and her efforts to 
that end, may with propriety be deemed a 
wretched subterfuge. 



IN the mean while the rage of Shepherd 
was augmenting. Time, instead of allaying, 
kindled the flame of revenge in the breast of 
the old man. A sense of the wounded hon- 
our of his family, became every day more ex- 
quisite ; he resolved to call a meeting of the 
parties, in which the whole mystery should be 
developed — that Ophelia should confront her 

seducer, 



Z))t |0oincr of ^^mpatt)^, 89 

seducer, and a thorough enquiry and expHca- 
tion be brought about. 

OPHELIA exercised all her powers to pre- 
vent it ; she intreated her father to consent to 
her desire, but her tears and intreaties were 
vain. To this earnest desire of his daughter. 
Shepherd opposed the honour of his family. 
She replied that a procedure would publish 
its disgrace and be subversive of his intention: 
That she hoped to live retired from the world, 
and^it was in his power to accept her happy 
repentance: In extenuating, she wished not 
to vindicate her errours, but declared herself 
to be. penetrated with a melancholy sense of 
her misconduct, and hoped her penitence 
might expiate her guilt : ' She now beheld the 
sin in the most glaring colours, the dangers to 
which she had been exposed, and acknowl- 
edged the effects of her temerity had im- 
pressed her mind with sincere contrition: " All 

persons," 



go 2;t)C ^otijcr of ^^mpatti^, 

persons," continued she, " are not blest with 
the hke happiness of resisting temptation: " she 
intreated her father, therefore, to beheve her 
misfortunes proceeded from credulity and not 
from an abandoned principle — that they 
arose more from situation than a depraved 
heart: In asking to be restored to the favour 
and protection of a parent, she protested she 
was not influenced by any other motive, than 
a wish to demonstrate the sincerity of her 
repentance, and to establish the peace and 
harmony of the family. 

OPHELIA now became melancholy, and 
her intentions visibly bent on the mmtner of 
her death. As the time drew nigh, her sensi- 
bility decame more and more exquisite: 
What was before distress, she now averred to 
be horrour: Her conduct bordered on insan- 
ity. 

THE 



Z\)t ^oiatt of ^^m^atl)^, 91 

THE day was appointed to bring to a 
settlement this unhappy business — the time 
of hearing arrived — the parties met — the 
presence of Ophelia was necessary — she was 
missing — the unfortunate Ophelia died by her 
own hand. 

MRS. Shepherd Q.vA.Qx^dL\}i\^ apartment of her 
daughter — she beheld her pale and trembling 

— she saw the vial, and the cup with the re- 
mains of the poison — she embraced her lost 

— " My Ophelia ! my daughter ! return — re- 
turn to life." 

AT this crisis entered the father — he was 
mute — he beheld his daughter struggling 
with the pangs of dissolution — he was dumb 
with grief and astonishment. 

THE dying Ophelia was conscious of the 
distress of her parents, and of her own situa- 
tion — she clasped her mother's hand, and 

raising 



92 t\)t ^oiDEr of ^^mpatl)^. 

raising her eye to heaven, was only heard to 
articulate "LET MY CRIME BE FOR- 
GOTTEN WITH MY NAME. — O 
FATAL ! FATAL POISON ! " 

ADIEU! my dear Myra — this unhappy 
affair has worked me to a fit of melancholy. 
I can write no more. I will give you a few 
particulars in my next. It is impossible to 
behold the effect of this horrid catastrophe 
and not be impressed with feelings of sympa- 
thetick sorrow : 



LETTER 



t^c poiDcr of ^^mpatl)^. 93 



LETTER XXII. 

Harriot to Myra. 

Rkodeislajzd. 

HOW frail is the heart ! How 
dirn is human foresight ! We behold the 
gilded "bait of temptation, and know not un- 
til taught by experience, that the admission of 
one errour is but the introduction of calamity. 
One mistake imperceptibly leads to another 
— but the consequences of the whole bursting 
suddenly on the devoted head of an unfortu- 
nate wanderer, becomes intolerable. 

HOW acute must be that torture, which 
seeks an asylum in suicide! O SEDUC- 
TION ! how many and how miserable are 

the 



94 ti}t |0otoer of ^^mpatlj^, 

the victims of thy unrelenting vengeance. 
Some crimes, indeed, cease to afflict when 
they cease to exist, but SEDUCTION opens 
the door to a dismal train of innumerable 
miseries. 

YOU can better imagine the situation of 
the friends of the unfortunate Ophelia than I 
can describe it. 

THE writings she left were expressive of 
contrition for her past transaction, and an 
awful sense of the deed she was about to exe- 
cute. Her miserable life was insupportable, 
there was no oblation but in death — she 
welcomed death, therefore, as the pleasing 
harbinger of relief to the unfortunate. She 
remembered her once-loved seducer with pity, 
and bequeathed him her forgiveness. — To 
say she felt no agitation was not just, but 
that she experienced a calmness unknown to 

a criminal 



t^t poioer of ^^mpatlj^, 95 

a criminal was certain. She hoped the fash- 
ness of her conduct would not be construed to 
her disadvantage — for she died in charity 
with the world. She felt like a poor wan- 
derer about to return to a tender parent, and 
flattered herself with the hopes of a welcome, 
though unbidden return. She owned the 
way was dark and intricate, but lamented she 
had no friend to enlighten her understanding, 
or unravel the mysteries of futurity. She 
knew there was a God who will reward and 
punish : She acknowledged she had offended 
Him, and confessed her repentance. She ex- 
patiated on the miserable life she had suffered: 
not that she feared detection, that was impossi- 
ble : but that she had been doing an injury to 
a sister who was all kindness to her : she 
prayed her sister's forgiveness — even as she 
herself forgave her seducer ; and that her 
crime might not be called ingratitude, because 
she was always sensible of her obligation to 

that 



96 t\)t ^Boiuer of ^^mpatt)^. 

that sister. She requested her parents to 
pardon her, and acknowledged she felt the 
pangs of a bleeding heart at the shock which 
must be given to the most feeling of mothers. 
She intreated her sisters to think of her with 
pity, and died with assurance that her friends 
would so far revere her memory as to take up 
one thing or another, and say this belonged to 
poor Ophelia. 

O MY friend ! what scenes of anguish are 
here unfolded to the survivours. The un- 
happy Shepherd charged Martin with the se- 
duction and murder of his daughter. What 
the termination of this most horrible affair 
will be, is not easy to foresee. 

Adieu ! 



LETTER 



t))t l^otorr of g>^mpatl)^« 97 



LETTER XXIII. 
Harriot to Myra. 

Rhodeisland. 

WHATEVER may be the 
other causes (if there were any besides her 
seduction) which drove the unhappy Ophelia^ 
temerariously to end her existence, it certainly 
becomes us, my dear friend, to attend to them 
— and to draw such morals and lessons of in- 
struction from each side of the question, as 
will be a mirrour by which we may regulate 
our conduct and amend our lives. A prudent 
pilot will shun those rocks upon which others 
have been dashed to pieces, and take example 
from the conduct of others less fortunate than 

himself : 



98 Slje potoer of §>^mpat^)^, 

himself : It is the duty of the moralist, then to 
deduce his observations from preceding facts 
in such a manner as may directly improve the 
mind and promote the economy of human 
life. 

THIS may be an apology for 'sending you 
the arguments of- Martin in answer to Shep- 
herd, who in his rage and grief had called him 
the murderer of his child. 

HE reminded Shepherd of his obstinacy in 
in persisting in an explanatory meeting, and 
refusing to grant Ophelias request in suffer- 
ing the affair to subside — " Your proud 
spirit," said he, "would not barken to the gen- 
tle remonstrances of your daughter — your 
heart was closed to every conciliatory propo- 
sition. Though she expressed a propensity 
to fly from the eye of the world, she had 
hitherto appeared lulled in a kind of happy 

insensibility ; 



^e ^oloitt of g^^mpatl)?. 99 

insensibility ; yet the approaching time of ex- 
planation was terrible, it renewed the story 
and torture of all her misfortunes, and the 
idea filled her with grief and dismay. Had 
you been as willing to receive her, as she to 
return to you, happy would it have been for 
both ; but your pride was the cause of addi- 
tional calamities — when the time arrived — 
But why shall we harrow upon souls with the 
reiteration of her sorrowful exit ? — 

" FROM these circumstances," said Martin^ 
■" you cannot accuse me as the immediate 
cause of Ophelias death ; the facts are as I 
have stated them — and thus was a straying, 
but penitent child, driven to despair and sui- 
cide by a severe use of parental power, and a 
vain attempt to resent an injury, for which it 
was impossible the accused party could make 
compensation." 

NOTWITHSTANDING 



loo tljE potDcr of g)^mpatl)^. 

NOTWITHSTANDING the plausibility 
of Martins plea, I have little hesitation in my 
mind to charge him with the remote cause of 
the miserable end of Ophelia. 

HOW far parental authority may be ex- 
tended, is a question which I shall not deter- 
mine ; I must, however, think it depends upon 
the combination Of circumstances. The duty 
of a child to her parents will be in proportion 
to the attention paid to her education. If, in- 
stead of the usual pains bestowed by many 
partial parents, upon the vain parade of form- 
ing the manners of a child, and burthening 
the mind with the necessity of douceurs and 
graces, would it not often be happier for both, 
to take a small share of thought to kindle one 
spark of grace in the heart? 

HAPPY the parents, who have bestowed 
upon their children such an education, as will 

enable 



€^t potoer of ^^mpatli^. loi 

enable them, by a principle of mediocrity, to 
govern them without extorting obedience, and 
to reclaim them without exercising severity. 

Farewel ! 



LETTER 



I02 t^t potoer of ^^mpu\ys» 



LETTER XXIV. 
Harriot to Myra. 

Rhodeisland. 

MRS. Francis is not altogether 
pleased with her journey to this part of the 
country — She does not delight to brood over 
sorrow — She flies from the house of mourn- 
ing, to scenes of dissipation — and, like the 
rest of the world, bears the misfortunes of her 
friends with a most christian fortitude : The 
melancholy aspect of affairs here, will there- 
fore shorten our visit — so you may expect us 
at Boston in a few days. 

MY faithful lover (with whom I will cer- 
tainly 



t\)t joiner of ^^mpattj^. 103 

tainly make you acquainted in a short time) 
continues to write to me in very passionate 
and sentimental strains. His last letter 
proves him to be a tolerable maker of rhymes 
and I inclose it for your entertainm,ent. 

I am, my dear, 

Your most affectionate Friend. 



LETTER 



I04 tlje potoer of ^^mpat^^. 



LETTER XXV. 

Myra to Harriot. 

(written before she had received the 
preceding.) 

Boston. 

YOUR sorrowful little history has 
infected me with grief. Surely there is no 
human vice of so black a die — so fatal in its 
consequences — or which causes a more gen- 
eral calamity, than that of seducing a female 
from the path of honour. This idea has been 
improved by my brother, on the hint of your 
favour — as an acknowledgement for which I 
inclose you his production. 

• (the 



2:i)e potoer of ^^mpatlj^. 105 

, (the inclosed.) 
t^t Court of ©tce» 

An apologue. 

VIQE " on a solemn night of state, 
In all her pomp of terrour sate," 
Her voice in deep, tremendous tone, 
Thus issu'd from her ebon throne : 
' This night at our infernal court, 
' Let all our ministers resort ; 
' Who most annoys the human race, 
' At our right hand shall take his place, 
' Rais'd on a throne — advanc'd in fame — 
* YE CRIMES now vindicate your claim.' 
Eager for praise, the hideous host. 
All spake, aspiring to the post. 

Pride said, to gain his private ends. 
He sacrific'd his dearest friends ; 
Insulted all with manners rude. 
And introduc'd ingratitude. 
'Twas he infus'd domestick hate. 
And party spirit in the state ; 
Hop'd they'd observe his mystick plan, 

Destroy'd 



io6 t\)t iBotoer of ^^mpatlj^. 

Destroy'd all confidence in man ; 
And justifi'd his high pretentions, 
By causing envy and dissentions. 

INTEMPERANCE loud, demands the 
place, 
He'd long deceiv'd the human race ; 
None could such right as he maintain. 
Disease and death were in his train. 

THEFT next appears to claim the station, 
E'er constant in his dark vocation ; 
He thought the place might well repay, 
The CRIME who labour'd night and day. 

FRAUD own'd (tho' loth to speak his 
praise) 
He gain'd his point by secret ways ; 
His voice in cities had been heard. 
And oft in senates been preferr'd ! 
Yet much derision had he borne, 
Treated by honest fools with scorn ; 
His influence on the western shore 
Was not so great as heretofore : 
He own'd each side alike assail'd, 
Complain'd how sadly he was rail'd, 
Curst by the name in ev'ry street. 

Of 



tt)C jaotoer of ^^mpatlj^. 107 

Of Paper, Tendry, Rogue and Cheat : 

Yet if some honour should requite 

His labour — things might still go right. 

MURDER before the footstool stood, 
With tatter'd robe distain'd in blood. 
' And who,' he cry'd, with daring face, 
' Denies my title to the place ? 
' My watchful eyes mankind survey, 
' And single out the midnight prey ; 
' No cowardlike I meet the foe, 
' With footsteps insecure and slow, 
' Or cause his death by languid strife — 
' Boldly this dagger ends his life. 
'Give back, ye CRIMES, your claims resign, 
' For I demand the post as mine.' 

AV'RICE declar'd his love of gold ; 
His nation, or himself he sold ; 
He taught the sin of PRIDE betimes ; 
Was foster-father of all crimes : 
He pawn'd his life ; he sak'd his soul. 
And found employment for the whole : 
Acknowleg'd that he gain'd his wealth, 
By FRAUD, by MURDER; and by 
STEALTH : 

On 



io8 t\)e potocr of ^^mpatlj]?. 

On one so useful to her cause, 
VICE well might lavish due applause. 

The hkgger'd host bow'd low the head. 
The MONSTER rose, and thus she said : 
' Ye MINISTERS of VICE, draw near, 
' For fame no longer persevere ; 
' No more your various parts disclose, 

' Men SEE, AND HATE YOU ALL AS FOES. 

' One yet remains among your crew, 

'Then rise, SEDUCTION ! claim your due. 

' Your baleful presence quickly parts 

' The tie that holds the happiest hearts ; 

' You ROB — what WEALTH can ne'er repay ; 

' Like JUDAS with a kiss betray : 

' Hence come the starving, trembling train, 

' Who prostitute themselves for gain, 

' Whose languid visages impart 

' A smile, while anguish gnaws the heart ; 

' Whose steps decoy unwary youth, 

' From honour, honesty, and truth, 

' Which follow'd 'till to late to mend, 

' In ruin, and the gallows end — 

' Be thine the post. Besides, who knows 

' When all thy consequences close ? 

' With thee, SEDUCTION ! are ally'd 

' HORROUR, DESPAIR and SUICIDE, 

'You 



Clie pofcDcr of ^i^mpatti^. 109 

' You wound • — but the devoted heart 
' Feels not alone — the poignant smart : 
' You wound — th' electrick pain extends 
' To fathers, mothers, sisters, friends. 
' MURDER may yet delight in blood, 
* And deluge round the crimson flood : 
' But sure his merits rank above, 
' Who murders in the mask of love.' 



LETTER 



no t1)t ipotoer of ^^mpatlj^. 



LETTER XXVI. 

* 

Myra to Mrs. Holmes. 

Boston. 

IN one of my former letters I ac- 
quainted you that I suspected my brother to 
be in love, and now Madam, I am enabled to 
tell you with whom — the amiable Harriot. 

Harriot attended Mrs. Francis in her 
journey to Rhodeisland, and our young hero 
has, in her absence, been dreaming of his mis- 
tress ; and, in a letter to her has written a 
description of his visionary interview. Har- 
riot, with whom I maintain a constant corres- 
pondence, and who keeps no secret from me, 

inclosed 



tl^t potoer of ^^mpatlis. 1 1 1 

inclosed the verses in her last, when lo ! the 
handwriting of Master Harrington. 

I WAS a little mortified that the young 
man had kept me in ignorance of his amour 
all this time, and this morning determined 
upon a little innocent revenge — " Tommy," 
said I, as he entered the room, " here is a 
piece of poetry, written by an acquaintance 
of mine — I want your judgment on it" — 
" Poetry or rhyme," answered he, advancing 
towards me, and casting his eyes upon it — 
He took the letter and began to read — 
" Why do you blush, young man ? " said I, 
" Harriot is a fine girl." — 

THIS produced an eclaircissement, and as 
the matter must remain secret, for a certain 
weighty reason, I am to be the confidante. 

I MUST acknowledge to you, Mrs. Holmes, 
there is a certain/^ ne scais quoi in my ami- 
able 



112 W\)t l^oiatt of ^^mpatl)^. 

able friend, that has always interested her in 
my favour — I have an affection for her which 
comes from the heart — an affection which 
I do not pretend to account for — Her. de- 
pendance upon Mrs. Francis hurts me — I do 
not think this lady is the gentle, complaisant 
being, that she appears to be in company — 
To behold so fine a girl in so disagreeable a 
situation, might at first attract my commisera- 
tion and esteem, and a more intimate knowl- 
edge of her virtues might have ripened them 
into love. Certain it is, however, that whom 
I admire a^ a friend, I could love as a 
SISTER. In the feelings of the heart there 
can be no dissimulation. 

PLEASE to tell Mr. Worthy, he may con- 
tinue to write, and that I will condescend to 
read his letters. 

Farewel ! 

LETTER 



tE^ljc potoci: of ^^mpatlis* 1 1 3 



LETTER XXVII. 
Worthy to Myra. 

Belleview. 

I AM just returned from a melancholy ex- 
cursion with Eliza. I will give you the his- 
tory of it — We generally walk out together, 
but we this time went further than usual — 
The fnorning was calm and serene — all 
Nature was flourishing, and its universal haf- 
mony conspired to deceive us in the length of 
the way. 

WHILE we were pursuing our walk, our 
ears were struck with a plaintive, musical 
voice, singing a melancholy tune. — " This," 

said 



114 ®^^ potocr of ^^rnpatl)^. 

said Mrs. Holmes, " must be Fidelia — the 
poor distracted girl was carried off by a ruf- 
fian a few days before her intended marriage, 
and her lover, in despair, threw himself into 
the river," — Eliza could say no more — for 
Fidelia resumed her melancholy strain in 
the following words : — 

TALL rose the lily's slender frame. 

It shed a glad perfume ; 
But ah ! the cruel spoiler came, 

And nipt its opening bloom. 

Curse on the cruel spoiler's hand 
That stole thy bloom and fled — 

Curse on his hand — for thy true love 
Is number'd with the dead. 

Poor maiden ! like the lily frail, 

'Twas all in vain you strove ; 
You heard the stranger's tender tale — 

But where was thy true love ? 

Thou wast unkind and false to him, 
But he did constant prove ; 

He 



t\)t |3otoer of ^^mpatlj^. 115 

He plung'd headlong in the stream — 
Farewel, f arewel, my love ! 

'Twas where the river rolls along, 

The youth all trembling stood, 
Opprest with grief — he cast himself 

Amidst the cruel flood. 

White o'er his head the billows foam, 

And circling eddies move ; 
Ah 1 there he finds a watery tomb — 

Farewel, farewel, my love ! 

WE advanced towards the place from 
where the sound issued, and Fidelia, who 
heard our approach, immediately rose from 
the ground ; " I was tired," said she, " and sat 
down here to rest myself." 

SHE was dressed in a long white robe, tied 
about the waist with a pink ribband ; her fine 
brown hair flowed loosely round her shoulders 
— In her hahd she held a number of wild 

flowers 



1 16 tl^t ^ofcDcr of ^^mpatl)^. 

flowers and weeds, which she had been gath- 
ering. " These," she cried, " are to make a 
nosegay for my love." "He hath no occa- 
sion for it," said Eliza. " Yes ! where he 
hves," cried /^zflfe/2a, "there are plenty — and 
flowers that never fade too — I will throw 
them into the river, and they will swim to 
him — they will go straight to him " — " And 
what will he do with them ? " I asked; " O ! " 
said the poor girl as she looked wistfully on 
them, and sorted them in her hand, " he loves 
everything that comes from me — he told me 
so" — " He will be happy to receive them," 
cried Eliza. " Where he is," said Fidelia, " is 
happiness — and happy are the flowers that 
bloom there — and happy shall I be, when I 
go to him — alas ! I am very ill now " — " He 
will love you again," said Eliza, " when you 
find him out " — " O he was very kind," cried 
she, tenderly, " he delighted to walk with me 
over all these fields — but now, I am obliged 

to 



t^t poiuer of ^^mpatljy. 1 1 7 

to walk alone." Fidelia drew her hand across 
her cheek, and we wept with her. — "I must 
go," she said, " I must go," and turned ab- 
ruptly from us, and left us with great precipi- 
tation. 

Farewel ! 



LETTER 



ii8 2:1)0 ^otDcc of ^^mpatl)?. 



LETTER XXVIII. 

Worthy to Myra. 

Belleview. 

MY melancholy meditations led me 
yesterday to the same place where I had seen 
the distracted Fidelia, and walking down the 
hill I again beheld her by the side of a beauti- 
ful spring — Before I could come up to the 
place, she was gone — she went hastily over 
the field — I followed her — after a few min- 
utes walk, I overtook her, and we both went 
on together towards a small, neat /farmhouse. 
An old man was sitting at the door — he gave 
a sigh as she passed him to go in — I asked 
him if she was his daughter — " Alas ! " said 

he, 



^\)e |0otoer of ^^mpatt)^. 1 19 

he, " my poor child — she has been in this 
state of affliction for near a twelve month." 
I enquired what cause produced the loss of 
her senses — He looked down sorrowfully — 
the question awakened the gloomy sensations 
of past evils, the recollection of which was 
painful, and opened wounds afresh that were 
not yet healed. '' She has lost her lover," 
cried the old man — "the youth was the son 
of one of our neighbours — their infancy was 
marked by a peculiar attachment to each 
other. When the young people danced to- 
gether, Fidelia was always the partner of 
Henry — as they grew up their mutual tender- 
ness ripened into passionate affection. They 
were engaged to each other, and Henry saved 
all his little stock of money to begin the 
world by himself. All the town beheld them 
with pleasure — they wished them success and 
happiness — and from their knowledge of 
both their characters, were led to hope they 

would 



I20 t\)t potoer of ^^mpatlj?. 

would one day become good members of 
society — but these hopes are blasted, and 
they now bestow the bitterest curses on the 
wretch who hath crushed their expectations — 
who hath deprived Fidelia of her senses, and 
caused the death of her lover. 

"THE gay Williams comes among us, and 
participates in our domestick pastimes — he 
singles out Fidelia, and is assiduous in his at- 
tentions to her — her little heart is lifted up 
— but her prudence rises ^uperior to her van- 
ity. Henry observes the operations of Wil- 
liams and thinks he sees in him a powerful 
rival — the unhappy youth becomes melan- 
choly — he sickens with jealousy — the pleas- 
ures of our country are forgotten by him — 
his thoughts are constantly employed on his 
Fidelia. — To complete the measure of his 
promised happiness he wishes to call her his 
own — he declares the desire of his soul — 

Fidelia 



t\)t poinei: of §>^mpatlj^. 



121 



Fidelia pledges her faith. He now sees the 
accomplishment of all his wishes in reversion 

— his heart leaps for joy — but — as the little 
paraphernalia is preparing, the rufifian hand of 
the Seducer dashes the cup of joy from their 
lips — Fidelia suddenly disappears — Williams 

— the ungrateful Williams — betrays her to 
a carriage he had prepared, and she is hurried 
off. Henry stands astonished — wild with 
grief and dismay, he appears senseless and 
confounded. 

" WHEN the heart is elevated by strong 
expectation — disappointment and misfortune 
come with redoubled force. — To receive pain, 
when we look for pleasure, .penetrates the 
very soul with accumulated anguish." 

THE old man paused — He endeavoured 
to hide a tear that was stealing down his 

cheek 



122 t^t jBotocr of ^^mputyi, 

cheek — and to check the violence of his pas- 
sion. 

I ASKED him how long his daughter was 
missing — "Not long," he answered — "the 
young men, enraged at the insult, arm them- 
selves and pursue the robber — they overtake 
him — Williams is wounded in the scuffle, 
and is carried away bleeding, by his servant 

— My daughter is regained — we thank 
Heaven for her restoration. She enquires for 
her Henry — alas ! Henry is no more ! The 
object of his love had flown from him, and 
with her the light of his soul — Darkness and 
grief liad encompassed him — he had no re- 
source, no consolation, no hope — she, whom 
his soul loved was stolen — was wrested from 
his embrace. Who was there to administer 
rehef ? — Who was there to supply her loss? 

— Not one. — the light of his reason now be- 
came clouded — he is seized by despair, and 

urged 



2^1)0 |0otoer of ^^mpatl)^. 123 

urged forward by the torments of disappointed 
love, he plunges into the riyer — to close his 
sorrows with his life. 

" THE loss of Fidelias senses followed this 
tragical event. 

" SHE hears the fate of her lover and be- 
comes petrified — the idea of her sorrows — 
her own agitation and care for her person, 
are lost in the reflection of her lover's death. 
— A while she raved — but this is now some- 
what restored, and, as you see, the poor mani- 
ack strays about the fields harmless and inof- 
fensive." 

THE old man proceeded to inform me of 
the death of his wife — the idea of one mis- 
fortune aroused in him that of another — or 
rather there was a gradual progression in 
them, and consequently a connexion — He 

told 



1 24 t\)t potoer of g)^mpatl)^. 

told me she did not long survive the death of 
Henry. " O Charlotte I " he cried, " thdu wast 
kind and cheerful — very pleasant hast thou 
been unto me. I will not cease to regret thy 
loss, till I meet thee in a better world." 

" OUR hearts," continued the old man, ad- 
dressing me, "are loosened from their attach- 
ment to this world by repeated strokes of mis- 
fortune. Wisely is it ordered thus. Every 
calamity severs a string from the heart — un- 
til one scene of sorrow on the back of a,nother 
matures us for eternity — Thus are our affec- 
tions estranged from this scene of misery. 
The cord that detains the bird is severed in 
two — and it flies away. 

" FORMERLY as I sat in this place — in 
the mild shade of the evening — when I had 
returned from my labour and took Fidelia on 
my knee, how often have I rendered thanks 

to 



Z\)t laofcoer of §>^mpatl)^. 125 

to Heaven for the happiness I enjoyed, and 
implored His power to make my child such 
another as Charlotte — This sweet remem- 
brance yet swells and agitates my heart, and in 
the midst of the distress which surrounds me, I 
feel a consolation in tracing to you a feeble 
sketch of the happy times that are passed." 

THE old man was sensibly affected — he de- 
lighted to dwell on what his child had been-^ — 
he thought of those times — and he sighed 
when he contrasted them with the present. 

"IN her disordered state," continued he, 
"she knows me not as a, father — I spread my 
morsel before her, and she flies from it — she 
forgets the sound of my voice — she is no 
longer unto me as a daughter. She who hath 
so tjften said, she would support me with her 
arm, and lead me about, when I should be 
old and decrepit — to her I call, but she re- 
turns 



126 t.\)t potoer of ^pmpatl)^, 

turns me no answer. Is not the cause of my 
woes, a melancholy instance of the baleful art 
of the SEDUCER ? — She is deprived of her 
reason, and knows not the weight of her 
misery ; and I am doubly deadened with her 
affliction, and the accumulated misfortune of 
immature decrepitude." 

"SEDUCTION is a crime," I observed, 
" that nothing can be said to palliate or ex- 
cuse." 

" AND WOE to him," added the old man, 
" who shall endeavour to extenuate it -■ — T/tey 
have taken away my staff'^ — continued he, 
raising a look of imploring mercy to Heaven, 
while a trembling tear rolled from his swollen 

eye, '■ They have taken away my staff in m,y old 

•it 
age. 

FREELY did my heart share in the sor- 
rows of the good old man — when I left him, 

I prayed 



t\)t |0oiBcr of ^smpatt)?, 127 

I prayed Heaven to compassionate his dis- 
tress — and as I "bent my pensive step towards 
Belleview, I had leisure to animadvert on the 
fatal tendency of SEDUCTION. 

Adieu ! 



End of Vol. I. 




The Power of Sympathy. 



VOL. II. 



THE POWER OF SYMPATHY 
or, the Triumph of Nature. 
Founded in Truth. 



BY 

MRS. PEREZ MORTON 

(SARAH WENTWORTH APTHORp). 
WM Frontispiece. 




BOSTON: PKINTED-BY-CUPPLESi 
& PATTERSON *ANi>-rUBLISH- 
ED*BY'TMEn-AT-THE-BACK 
BAY- BOOKSTORE * 230 • BOYU 
STON' STREET 



Copyright, 1894, 
By Walter Littlefield, 



All Rights Reserved. 



THE 

POWER OF SYMPATHY: 

OR. THE 

TRIUMPH OF NATURE. 

FOUNDED IN TRUTH. 

I N TWO VOLUMES. 



VOL. n. 



Fain would he ftrew Life's thorny Way with Flowers, 
And open to your View Elyfian Bowers ; 
Catch the warm Pailions of the tender Touth, 
And win the Mind to Sentiment and Truth. 




PRINTED at BOSTOM 

BY ISAIAH THOMAS and Company. 

Sold at their Bookftore, No. 45, Newbury Street, 

And W faid Thomas's Bookftore in Worcester. 

MDCCLXXXIX. 



The Power of Sympathy. 



LETTER XXIX. 

Mrs. Holmes to Myra. 

Belleview. 

I AM sometimes mortified to 
find the books which I recommend to your 
perusal, are not always applicable to the situ- 
ation of an American lady. The general 
observations of some English books are the 
most useful things contained in them ; the 
principal parts being chiefly, filled with local 
descriptions, which a young woman here is 
•frequently at a loss to understand. 

I SEND 



2 t^i)t l^oiatt of ^^mpatt)^. 

I SEND you a little work, entitled ''A lady 
of Quality's Advice to her Children " which, 
though not altogether free from this exception, 
is highly worthy of your attention. A parent 
who is represented struggling with the dis- 
tress of a lingering illness, bequeaths a system 
of education to her offspring. I do not rec- 
ommend it to you as a Novel, but as a work 
that speaks the language of the heart and 
that inculcates the duty we owe to ourselves, 
to society and the Deity. 

DIDACTICK essays are not always cap- 
able of engaging the attention of young 
ladies. We fly from the laboured precepts of 
the essayist, to the sprightly narrative of the 
novelist. Habituate your mind to remark the 
difference between truth and fiction. You 
will then always be enabled to judge of the 
propriety and justness of a thought ; and 
never be misled to form wrong opinions, by 

the 



tirije l^otoer of ^^mpatl)^* 3 

the meretricious dress of a pleasing tale. You 
will then be capable of deducing the most 
profitable lessons of instruction, and the de- 
sign of your readhig will be fully accom- 
plished. — 

HENCE you will be provided with a key to 
the characters of men : To unlock these cu- 
rious cabinets is a very useful, as well as 
entertaining employment. Of those insid- 
ious gentlemen, who plan their advances 
towards us on the Chesterfieldian system, let 
me advise you to beware. A prudent com- 
mander would place a double watch, if he 
apprehended the enemy were more disposed 
to take the fort by secrecy and undermining, 
than by an open assault. 

I CANNOT but smile sometimes, to ob- 
serve the ridiculous figure of some of our 
young gentlemen^ who affect to square their 

conduct 



4 t^t ^otDer of §>^inpatl)?. 

conduct by his Lordship's principles of 
politeness — they never tell a story unless it 
be very short — they talk of decorum and the 
etiquette — they detest everything vulgar or 
common — they are on the rack if an old man 
should let fall a proverb — and a thousand 
more trifling affectations, the ridicule of 
which arises, not so much from their put- 
ting on this foreign dress, as from their ignor- 
ance or vanity in pretending to imitate those 
rules which were designed for an English 
nobleman — Unless, therefore, they have a 
prospect of being called by Congress to exe- 
cute some foreign negotiation, they ought 
certainly to be minding their business. 



THIS affectation of fine breeding is de- 
structive to morals. Dissimulation and insin- 
cerity are connected with its tenets ; and are 
mutually inculcated with the art of pleasing. 

A PERSON 



tf)t |0otoa: of ^^mpatl)^. 5 

A PERSON of this character grounds his 
motives for pleasing on the most selfish prin- 
ciple — He is polite, not for the honour of 
obliging you, as he endeavours to make you 
believe, but that he himself might be obliged. 
Suspect^him, therefore, of insincerity and 
treachery, who sacrifices truth to complai- 
sance, and advises you to. the pursuit of an ob- 
ject, which would tend to his advantage. 

ALWAYS distinguish the man of sense 
from the cox-comb. Mr. Worihy is possessed 
of a good understanding, and an exact judge- 
ment. If you are united with him, let it be 
the study of your life to preserve his love and 
esteem. His amiable character is adorned 
with modesty and a disposition to virtue and 
sobriety. I never anticipate your future hap- 
piness, but I contemplate this part of his 
character with pleasure. But remember the 
fidelity of a wife alone, will not always secure 

the 



6 ti\t pofcDcr of §)rmpatt)^. 

the esteem of a husband ; when her personal 
attractions do not continue to delight his eye, 
she will flatter his judgement. I think you are 
enabled to perform this, because you are solic- 
itous to supply your mind with those amiable 
qualities which are more durable than beauty. 
When you are no longer surrounded with a 
flattering circle of young men, and the world 
shall cease to call you beautiful, your company 
will be courted by men of sense, who know 
the value of your conversation. 

I AM pleased with the conduct of some 
agreeable girls, and the return of civility and 
attention they often make to the conceited 
compliments of a certain class of beaux. 
These ladies wisely consider them as the 
butterflies of a day, and therefore generally 
scorn /o break them on a wheel ! 

WHEN you are in company, when the vain 

and 



Zift potocr of ^^mpatlj^. 7 

and thoughtless endeavour to shew their inge- 
nuity by ridiculing particular orders of men, 
your prudence will. dictate to you not to coun- 
tenance their abuse — The book I have just 
mentioned, intimates, that " there are a great 
many things done and said in company which 
a woman of virtue will neither see nor hear." 
— To d iscountenance levity, is a sure way to 
guard against the encroachment of tempta- 
tion; to parcipitate in the mirth of a buffoon, 
is to render yourself equally ridiculous. We 
owe to ourselves a detestation of folley, and to 
the world, the appearance of it. I would have 
you avoid coquetry and affectation, and the 
observance of my maxims will never make 
you a prude — Pretend, therefore, should a 
vain youth throw out illiberal sarcasms against 
Mechanicks, Lawyers, Ministers, Virtue, Re- 
ligion, or any serious subject, not to compre- 
hend the point of his wit. 

HAVE 



8 ®lj0 |3otoer of ^^mpatlj^. 

I HAVE seldom spoken to you on the im- 
portance of Religion, and the veneration due 
to the characters of the Clergy. I always sup- 
posed your good sense capable of suggesting 
their necessity and eligibility. The Ministers 
of no nation are more remarkable for learning 
and piety than those of this country. The 
fool may pretend to scorn, and the irreligious 
to contemn, but every person of sense and 
reflection must admire that sacred order, 
whose business is to inform the understand- 
ing, and regulate the passions of mankind. 
Surely, therefore, that class of men, will con- 
tinue to merit our esteem and affection, while 
virtue remains upon earth. 

I AM always pleased with the reasonable 
and amiable light in which the Clergy are 
placed by the author of the Guardian — " The 
light," says he, " in which these points should 
be exposed to the view of one who is preju- 
diced 



tKlje poiDtt of ^pmpat^?. 9 

diced against the names, Religion, Church, 
Priest, or the Hke, is to consider the Clergy as 
so many Philosophers, the Churches as 
Schools, and their Sermons as Lectures for 
the improvement and information of the au- 
dience. How would the heart of Tully or Soc- 
rates have rejoiced, had they lived in a nation 
where the law had made provision for philoso- 
phers to read lectures of philosophy; every 
seventh day, in several thousands of schools, 
erected at the publick charge, throughout the 
whole country, at which lectures, all ranks 
and sexes, without distinction, were obliged 
to be present, for their .general improve- 
ment ? " 

YOU may, perhaps, think this letter too| 
serious, but remember that virtue and religion 
are the foundation of education. 

Adieu ! 
LETTER 



10 <t\)t potocr of ^^mpatl)^. 



LETTER XXX. 

Mrs. Holmes to Myra. 

Belleview. 

YOU will observe, my dear 
friend, that most of the letters I have written 
to you of late, on female education', are con- 
fined to the subject of study. I am sensible 
of the ridicule sometimes levelled at those 
who are called learned ladies. Either these 
ladies must be uncommonly pedantick, or 
those who ridicule them, uncommonly igno- 
rant — Do not be apprehensive of acquiring 
that title, or sharing the ridicule, but remem- 
ber that the knowledge which I wish you to 
acquire, is necessary to adorn your many vir- 
tues 



t.\)t potoer of ^^mpatlj^. 1 1 

tues and amiable qualifications. This ridicule 
is evidently a trans-Atlantick idea, and must 
have been imbibed from the source of some 
English Novel or Magazine — The American 
ladies of this class, who come within our 
knowledge, we know to be justly celebrated 
as ornajnentsjto^society, and an honour to the 
sex. . When it is considered how many of our 
countrywomen are capable of the task, it is 
a matter of regret that American literature 
boasts so few productions from the pens of the 
ladies. 

SELF complacency is a most necessary 
acquirement — for the value of a woman will 
always be commensurate to the opinion she 
entertains of herself. A celebrated European 
wit, in a letter to a lady, concentres much 
good advice in the short rule of conduct: 
" Reverence Thyself." 

I WAS 



1 2 t\)t ^o\sizt of ^^mpatl)^. 

I WAS this morning reading Swift's letter 
to a very young lady, on her marriage. Al- 
though this famous writer is not celebrated 
for delicacy or respect towards us, yet I wish 
• some of his observations contained less truth 
— If you are in company, says this writer, 
when the conversation turns on the manners 
and customs of remote nations, or on books in 
verse or prose, or on the nature and limits of 
virtue and. vice, it is a shame for a lady not to 
relish such discourses, not to improve by 
them, and endeavour by reading and informa- 
tion, to have her share in those entertain- 
ments, rather than turn aside, as is the usual 
custom, and consult with the woman who sits 
next her, about a new cargo of fans. 

HE' then descends to particulars, and insists 
on the necessity of orthography. Is it not a 
little hard, continues he, that not one gentle- 
man's daughter in a thousand should be 

brought 



t^e ^oiDtt of ^^mpatl)^. 13 

brought to read or understand her own natu- 
ral tongue, or be judge of the easiest books 
that are written in it ; as any one may find, 
who can have the patience to hear them man- 
gle a Play or a Novel ? 

IF there be any of your acquaintance to 
whom this passage is applicable, I hope you 
will recommend the study of Mr. Webster s 
Grammatical Institute, as the best work in our 
language to facilitate the knowledge of Gram- 
mar. I cannot but think Mr. Webster in- 
tended his valuable book for the benefit of his 
countrywomen: For while he delivers his 
rules in a pure, precise, and elegant style, he 
explains his meaning by examples which are 
calculated to inspire the female mind with a 
thirst for emulation, and a desire of virtue. 

NO subject has been more exhausted than 
that of education. * Many Utopian schemes 

have 



14 t^t potoer of ^^mpatl)^. 

have been delineated, and much speculation 
employed. When I peruse these labours, and 
am persuaded the intention of their authors is 
ta^jzomote ou-F-welfare, I feel myself prompted 
to a prudent and amiable demeanour ; and I 
suppose every woman of reason and reflection 
feels the same inclination to virtue, and the 
same sensations of gratitude in reading the 
works of those writers, the characteristicks of 
whom, are sentiment, morality and benevo- 
lence. 

WHAT books do you read, my dear ? We 
are now finishing Barlow s Vision of Colum- 
bus, and shall begin upon DwigMs Conquest 
of Canaan in a few days. It is very agreeable 
to read with one, who points out the beauties 
of the author as we proceed. Such a one is 
Worthy. — Sometimes Mr. Holmes makes one 
of our party, and his notes and references to 
the ancient poets are very entertaining. 

Worthy 



ti^ potoer of §>vmpatt)^. 15 

Worthy is delighted with the ease and freedom 
with which we Hve here. We have little 
concerts, we walk, we ride, we read, we have 
good company — this is Belleview in all its 
glory. 

ADIEU, my dear — I shall continue this 
subject no longer, though I flatter myself you 
would receive my hints with satisfaction,' be- 
cause you must be persuaded I love you, and 
so interest myself in your welfare — I need 
not add that I think your conduct worthy of 
you. You are such a good girl that I know 
not in what to direct you ; for you leave me 
no room for advice — continue to anticipate 
the desires of my heart, and secure the high 
opinion you have there obtained. 

Your friend forever ! 



LETTER 



1 6 ^l)E l^oioer of §>^mpat|)^» 



LETTER XXXI. 

Mrs. Holmes to Myra. 

Belleview. 

IF the affair of your brother 
and Harriot be serious, and matrimony is 
really on the tapis, do not fail to make me 
previously acquainted with it. — I very much 
doubt the evidence of the verses — they 
weigh little in my mind — and he is easily ex- 
cused for sending them to so fine a girl as 
Harriot. 

YOUR observations on her dependence on 
Mrs. Francis do honour to your heart — virtue 
does not consist in affluence and indepen- 
dence 



tlft laotoer of §>^mpatt)v» 17 



/ 



dence — nor can it be reflected on us by the 
glory of our connexions — those who pride 
themselves on it, make but an indifferent fig- 
ure ; for in the estimation of all sensible peo- 
ple — true merit is personal. 

HOWEVER, my dear friend, as one who 
wishes for your welfare and the happiness of 
your family, I advise you to discourage the 
proposed connexion — and if you cannot un- 
dertake this disagreeable talk with a certain of 
success^ do not fail to acquaint me of it speedily. 

Adieu ! 



LETTER 



1 8 €^t potDfr of ^^xttpuif^. 



LETTER XXXII. 



Harrington to Worthy. 



Boston. 



WHAT ails my heart ? I feel 
a void here — and yet I verge towards my 
happiness — for a few days makes Harriot 
mine — Myra say I had better not marry her. 
What could prompt her to use such an ex- 
pression ? Better not marry her. She has 
repeated it several times — and with too much 
eagerness — I give no heed to it — and yet, 
why should it affect me in this manner? Is it 
an artifice to fathom the depth of my love? 

Such 



Z\)e |0otDer of g>Bmpatl)?. 19 

Such schemes are my utter aversion^— it dis- 
turbs me — I hate such artifice — You cannot 
imagine how it touches my heart. 

Adieu ! 



LETTER 



20 &it potoer of ^^mpW^* 



LETTER XXXIII. 

Mrs. Holmes to Myra. 

Belleview. 

IT is the duty of friends to be in- 
terested in all the concerns of one another — 
to join in their joys and to avert the stroke of 
danger. It is the duty of a centinel to give 
the alarm at the approach of what he may 
think such — and if the result does not prove 
to be a real evil — he has but performed his 
duty, and the action is meritorious. 

IF your exertions to countermine the con- 
nexion of your brother with Harriot should 

prove 



turtle potocr of ^smpatl)?. 2 1 

prove ineffectual (and do not fail to acquaint 
me with it either way) I have a tale to 
UNFOLD which may possibly forbid the 
banns. 



LETTER 



22 t\)t ^poiuer of ^^mpat|i^» 



LETTER XXXIV. 

Harringtori to Worthy. 

Boston. 

I FIND my temper grown ex- 
tremely irritable — my sensibility is wounded 
at the slightest neglect — I am very tenacious 
of everything, and of everybody. 

A PARTY was made yesterday to go on 
the water ; I was omitted, and the neglect 
hurt me. I inquired the cause, and what 
think you is the answer ? "I am no company 
— I am asked a question and return nothing 
to the point — I am absent — I am strangely 
altered within a few days — I am thinking of 

a different 



2:t)e potDcr of ^vtttpatl)^« 23 

a different subject when I ought to be em- 
ployed in conversation — I am extravagant in 
my observations — I am no company." 

THEY would persuade me I am little 
better than a mad man — I have no patience 
with their nonsensical replies — Such wise- 
acres dp not deserve my pity. 

Farewel ! 



LETTER 



2 4 2:t)c potocr of ^^mpatl)?. 



LETTER XXXV. 

Myra to Mrs. Holmes. 

Boston. 

YOUR letter is filled with such 
ambiguous expressions that I am utterly at a 
loss to discover your meaning. 

I HAVE, however, sounded him on the 
article of marriage, and the result is — he 
loves Harriot most passionately — and on 
account of my father's aversion to early mar- 
riage, will marry her privately in a few days. 

THE oftener 1 read your letter, the more 
.1 am perplexed and astonished : " You 

HAVE 



Z\)t poiuer of ^^mpatlj^. 25 

HAVE A TALE TO UNFOLD " — For Heavcn's 
sake then unfold it, before it be too late 
— and as you dread the consequence of 
keeping it secret, by disclosing it to me, you 
will prevent the mischief, you so much depre- 
cate — I am all impatience. 

Adieu ! 



LETTER 



26 ^^t ipotoei: of ^^mpatliB. 



LETTER XXXVI. 

Harrington to Worthy. 

Boston. 

I HAVE just left Harriot — but 
how have I left her ? In tears. I wish I had 
not gone. Mrs. Francis had intrusted Har- 
riot with some trifling commission — It was 
not done — she had not had time to perform 
it. Harriot was reprimanded — Yes ! by 
Heaven — this Mrs. Francis had the insolence 
to reprimand Harriot in my presence — I was 
mortified — I walked to the window — my 
heart was on fire — my blood boiled in my 
veins — it is impossible to form an idea of the 
disorder of my nerves — Harriot's were 

equally 



Z\)t laotoer of ^^nqjatt)^* 27 

equally agitated — Mrs. Francis saw our con- 
fusion and retired — she left me so completely 
out of temper that I was forced to follow her 
example. I kissed away the tear from the 
cheek of Harriot and withdrew to my ( 
chamber. 

HERE let me forget what has passed — 
my irritability will not permit me — my feel- 
ings are too easily set in motion to enjoy long 
quietness — my nerves are delicately strung; 
they are now out of tune, and it is a hard 
matter to harmonize them. 

I FEEL that I have a soul — and every man 
of sensibility feels it within himself. I will re- 
late a circumstance I met with in my late 
travels through Southcarolina — I was always 
susceptible of touches of nature. 

I HAD often remarked a female slave pass 

b' 



2 8 ^\)t )SotDer of ^^mpatl^^. 

by my window to a spring to fetch water. 
She had something in her air superior to 
those of her situation — a fire that the damps 
of slavery had not extinguished. 

AS I was one day walking behind her, the 
wind blew her tattered handkerchief from her 
neck and exposed it to my sight. I asked 
her the cause of the scar on her shoulder. 
She answered composedly, and with an earn- 
estness that proved she was not ashamed to 
declare it — " It is the mark of the whip," 
said she, and went on with the history of it, 
without my desiring her to proceed— " My 
-boy, of about ten years old, was unlucky 
enough to break a glass tumbler — this crime 
was immediately looked into — I trembled for 
the fate of my child, and was thought to be 
guilty. I did not deny the charge, and was 
tied up. My former good character availed 
nothing. Under every affliction, we may re- 
ceive 



tKIje pototx of §>^mpatft^. 29 

ceive consolation; and during the smart of 
the whip, I rejoiced — because I shielded with 
my body the lash from my child ; and I rend- 
ered thanks to the Best of Beings that I was 
allowed to suffer for him." 

" HEROICALLY spoken ! " said I, " may 
He whom you call the Best of Beings continue 
you in the same sentiments — may thy soul 
be ever disposed to _ sympathize with thy 
children, and with thy brethren and sisters in 
calamity — then shalt thou feel every circum- 
stance of thy life afford the satisfaction ; and 
repining and melancholy shall fly from thy 
bosom — all thy labours will become easy — 
all thy burdens light, and the yoke of slavery 
will never gall thy neck." 

I WAS sensibly relieved as I pronounced 
these words, and I felt my heart glow with 
feelings of exquisite delight, as I anticipated 

the 



30 23)0 jaotoer of g>^mpatl)iJ» 

the happy time when the sighs of the slave 
shall no longer expire in the air of freedom. 
What delightful sensations are those in which 
the heart is interested! In which it stoops to 
enter into the little concerns of the most re- 
mote ramification of Nature ! Let the vain, 
the giddy, and the proud pass on without 
deigning to notice them — let them cheat 
themselves of happiness — these are circum- 
stances which are important only to a senti- 
mental traveller. 

HAIL sensibility 1 Sweetener of the joys 
of life ! Heaven has implanted thee in the 
breasts of his children — to soothe the sor- 
rows of the afiflicted — to mitigate the wounds 
of the stranger who falleth in our way. Thou 
regardest with an eye of pity, those whom 
wealth and ambition treat in terms of reproach. 
Away, ye seekers of power — ye boasters of 
wealth — ye are the Levite and the Pharisee, 

who 



®l)e potoer of §)^mpatl)^, 31 

who restrain the hand of charity from the in- 
digent, and turn with indignation from the 
way-worn son of misery : — But Sensibility is 
the good Samaritan, who taketh him by the 
hand, and. consoleth him, and poureth wine 
and oil into his wounds. Thou art a pleas- 
ant companion — a grateful friend — and a 
neighbour to those who are destitute of shel- 
ter. — 

FROM thee! Author of Nature! from] 
thee, thou inexhaustible spring of love su- 
preme, floweth this tide of affection and sym- 
pathy — thou whose tender care extendeth to 
the least of thy creatures — and whose eye is 
not inattentive even though a sparrow fall to i 
the ground. 



LETTER 



32 t\)t poiner of gj^mpatli^. 



LETTER XXXVII. 

Mrs. Holmes to Myra. 

Belleview, 1 2 d clock at night. 

I CANNOT rest — this affair 
lies so heavy on my mind, that sleep flies 
from my eye-lids. Your brother must discon- 
tinue his addresses to Harriot — with what 
should I not have to upbraid myself, if, through 
my remissness — your brother marries his 
sister ! GREAT God ! of what materials hast 
thou compounded the hearts of thy creatures ! 
admire, O, my friend! the operation of NA- 
TURE— and the power of SYMPATHY ! 

Harriot 



tf)e potocr of ^^mpatl)^. 33 

HarriotlS YOUR SISTER! I dispatch 
the bearer at this late hour to confide in your 
bosom the important secret ! 

Adieu ! 



LETTER 



34 ^bt potocr of ^^mpatl)^. 



LETTER XXXVIII. 

Myra to Mrs. Holmes. 

Boston. 
ACCEPT my warmest acknowl- 
edgment, my good friend, for your kindness. 
— Your letter sufficiently explains your 
former anxiety — it has removed all ambi- 
guities. 

YOUR servant entered hastily with the 
letter — and gave it me with evident tokens 
of its containing a matter of importance. — 
My father was present — I broke it open, not 
without agitation — I read it — but the shock 
was too severe — it fell from my hands, and I 
sunk into the chair. 

MY 



t^t poiuer of S>^mpatt)^. 35 

MY fainting was not of any duration. I 
opened my eyes and found my father support- 
ing me — but the idea of Harriot was still 
engraven deeply in my heart. — I inquired 
for my sister — the tear rolled down his 
cheek— it was a sufficient answer to my in- 
quiry. — He said nothing — there was no ne- 
cessity of his saying a word. 

COULD I ask him to explain your letter? 
No — my heart anticipated his feelings — the 
impropriety struck me at once. " You have a 
tale to unfold." Do not delay to unfold it. 

Adieu ! 



LETTER 



36 Z\)t J3otoer of ^^mpatl)?. 



LETTER XXXIX. 

Mrs. Holmes to Myra. 

Belleview. 

I READILY undertake to give 
you a sketch of the history of Harriot. Her 
mother's name was Maria Fawcet; her per- 
son I yet recollect, and forgive me if I drop a 
tear of pity at the recital of her misfortunes. 

MY mother and Mrs. Holmes were remark- 
able friends, and the intimacy, you know, was 
maintained between the two families. I was 
on a visit with my mother when the destiny 
of Maria led her to Belleview. I was fre- 
quently 



ti)t |0otoer of g>^mpatl))?. 37 

quently there during her illness — and was 
with her in her last moments. 

IT was the custom of Mrs. Holmes to walk 
in the garden towards the close of the day. 
She was once indulging her usual walk, when 
she was alarmed by the complaints of a 
woman which came from the road. Pity and 
humanity were ever peculiar characteristicks 
of my amiable parent — She hastened to the 
place whence the sound issued, and beheld a 
young woman, bathed in tears sitting on the 
ground. She inquired the cause of her dis- 
tress, with that eager solicitude to relieve, 
which a sight so uncommon would naturally 
occasion. It was sometime before the dis- 
tressed woman could return an intelligible 
answer, and then she with difficulty pro- 
ceeded : " Your goodness. Madam, is unmer- 
ited — you behold a stranger, without home 
— without friends — and whose misery bears 

her 



38 Z\)t ^Botoet: of ^^mpatl)^. 

her down to an untimely grave — Life is a 
blessing — but my life is become burthen- 
some, and were the Almighty this moment to 
command me to the world of spirits, methinks 
I could gladly obey the summons, and rejoice 
in the stroke which bade me depart from sor- 
row and the world." Moderate your grief, 
my dear woman, repine not at the will of 
Providence, nor suffer yourself to despair, 
however severe your misfortunes. 

THE unfortunate woman was at length 
prevailed on to accompany Mrs. Holmes into 
the house, she partook of some refreshment 
and retired to sleep. In a few days she 
appeared to be better ; but it was a tem- 
porary recovery ; she then told her story, 
with frequent interruptions, in substance as 
follows : — 



J^tstorp 



t\)z |0otDcr of ^SJKpatl)^. 39 



J^istor^ of sparta. 

" I DATE the rise of my misfor- 
tunes, "said Maria, " at the beginning of my 
acquaintance with the Honourable Mr. Har- 
rington. — But for his soHcitations I might 
still have lived in peace — a sister would not 
have had occasion to blush at the sound of my 
name — nor had a mother's pillow been 
steeped in tears, too fondly prone to remem- 
ber a graceless but repenting child — We 
lived happily together in the days of my 
father, but when it pleased Providence to re- 
move him, we no longer asserted our preten- 
sions to that rank of life which our straitened 
finances were unable to continue. — A young 
woman in no eligible circumstances, has much 
to apprehend from the solicitations of a man 
of affluence. I am now better persuaded of 

this 



40 t\)t laotDer of g)^mpatl)?. 

this truth, than I ever was before — for this 
was my unhappy situation — I always enter- 
tained a predilection for Mr. Harrington — 
he urged his passion with protestations of 
sincerity and affection — he found my heart 
too slightly guarded — he strove — he tri- 
umphed. 



MUST I proceed! 



"A SMILING female was the offspring 
of our illicit connexion — Ah ! my little Har- 
riot ! " continued Maria, as she wiped away a 
tear from her eye, " mayest thou enjoy that 
happiness which is denied to thy mother." 

" OUR amour was not fated to last long — 
I discovered his gay temper to be materially 
altered — he was oftentimes thoughtful and 
melancholy, and his visits became suddenly 
shorter, and less frequent. 

"I AFTERWARDS 



&)t potDer of ^^mpatl)^. 41 

" I AFTERWARDS thought this change 
of conduct owing to jealousy — for he once 
asked me if a gentleman had called upon me 
— I persisted — I persisted in avowing my 
abhorrence of his ungenerous suspicion — He 
left me abruptly, and I saw nothing of him 
after. 

"A STROKE so unexpected fell heavy on 
my heart — it awakened me to the state of 
misery into which my imprudence had hurried 
me. — What recompense could I expect from 
my Seducer ? — He had been married two 
years — From the inflexibility of his temper I 
had little to hope, and I formed a determina- 
tion of leaving town, for I had now indubi- 
table testimony of his affection being es- 
tranged from me — half frantick, I immedi- 
ately set out — but whither I knew not — I 
walked with precipitation until Providence 
directed me to your hospitable door: To 

your 



42 ^Ije IBotuei: of ^^mpatt)^. 

your goodness, Madam, I am indebted for pro- 
longing my existence a/^w days: For amidst 
the kindness and civilities of those around me, 
I feel myself rapidly verging towards the 
grave. I prepare myself for my approaching 
fate — and daily wait the stroke of death with 
trembling expectation." 

SHE wrote to Mr. Harrington about a 
week before her decease — I transcribe the 
Letter : — 

" The Hon. Mr. Harrington. 

"To the man for whom my bleeding 
heart yet retains its wonted affection, though 
the author of my guilt and misery, do I ad- 
dress my feeble complaint — O ! Harrington^ 
I am verging to a long eternity — and it is 
with difficulty I support myself while my 
trembling hand traces the dictates of my 

heart 



heart. Indisposed as I am — and unable as I 
feel to prosecute this talk — I however collect 
all my powers to bid you a long — a final fare- 
wel. 

" OH ! Harrington, I am about to depart 
— for why should I tarry here ? In bitter 
tears of sorrow do I weep away the night, 
and the returning day but augments the an- 
guish of my heart, by recalling to view the sad 
sight of my misfortunes. And have I not 
cause for this severe anguish, at once sorrow 
and disgrace of my family ? — Alas ! my poor 
mother ! — Death shall expiate the crime of 
thy daughter, nor longer raise the blush of 
indignation on thy glowing cheek. — Ought 
I not, therefore, to welcome the hand of 
death ? 

"But what will become of my poor helpless 
infant, when its mother lies forgotten in the 

grave } 



44 tK^ie ipotoer of ^rntpatl)^* 

grave ? Wilt thou direct its feet in the path 
of virtue and rectitude? Wilt thou shelter it 
from the rude blasts of penury and want ? — 
Open your heart to the solicitude of a mother 
— of a mother agoni^ng for the future wel- 
fare of her child. Let me intreat you to per- 
form this request — by the love which you 
professed for thy Maria — by her life which 
you have sacrificed. 

" AND wilt thou not drop a tear of pity in 
the grave of thy Maria ? — I know thy soul 
is the soul of sensibility ; but my departure 
shall not grieve thee — no, my Harrington, 
it shall not wrest a sigh from thy bosom — 
rather let me live, and defy the malice and 
misery of the world — But can tenderness — 
can love atone for the sacrifices I have made.'' 
-^ Will it blot out my errours from the book 
of memory ? Will love be an excuse for my 
crime, or hide me from the eye of the malig- 
nant 



^\)e potocr of g>^tni)atl)^« 45 

nant — No, my Harrington, it will not. The 
passion is unwarrantable. Be it thine, gentle 
Amelia — be it thine to check the obtruding 
sigh, and wipe away the tear from his face — 
for thou art his wife, and thy soul is the seat 
of compassion — But — for me — 

" Farewel — farewel forever ! 
MARIA." 

SHE survived but a short time — 
and frequently expressed a concern for the 
child — hut Mrs. Holmes quieted her fears by 
promising to protect it. She accordingly 
made inquiry after it — and it is the same 
Harriot who was educated by her order, and 
whom she afterwards placed in the family of 
Mrs. Francis. 

The assurances of my mother were like 

balm 



46 Z\)t poiDtt: of ^^mpatl)?, 

balm to the broken hearted Maria — "I shall 
now," said she " die in peace." 

THE following is a copy of a letter written 
by the Rev. Mr. Holmes to the Hon. Mr. , 
Harrington : — 

Belleview. 

" SIR, 

" WE have, a scene of distress at 
our house peculiarly pathetic k and affecting, 
and of which you, perhaps, are the sole au- 
thor — You have had a criminal connexion 
with Miss Fawcet — you have turned her 
upon the world inhumanly — but chance — 
rather let me say Providence, hath directed 
her footsteps to my dwelling, where she is 
kindly entertained, and will be so, as long as 
she remains in this wilderness world, which is 
to be, I fear, but a short time — And shall 

she 



t.\)t poiurr of S>^mpatl)^. 47 

she not, though she hath been decoyed from 
the road that leadeth to peace, long Hfe, and 
happiness — shall she not, if she return with 
tears of repentance and contrition, be entitled 
to our love and charity? Yes — this is my 
doctrine — If I behold any child of human 
nature distressed and forlorn, and in real want 
of the necessities of life, must I restrain or 
withhold the hand of charity — must I cease 
to recall the departing spirit of them that are 
ready to perish, until I make diligent inquiry 
into their circumstances and character ? 
Surely, my friend, it is a duty incumbent on 
us by the ties of humanity and fellow-feeling, 
and by the duty imposed on us by our holy 
religion, equally to extend the hand of relief 
to fls// ^Ae necessitous — however they may be 
circumstanced in the great family of mankind. 

"THE crime of Maria is not the blackest 
in the annals of human turpitude ; but how- 
ever 



48 ^\)t potoer of g>^mpatti^, 

ever guilty she might have been, the tears of 
penitence do certainly make atonement there- 
for. 

"THUS much have I thought proper to 
say in vindication of my conduct — in shelter- 
ing under my roof a poor wanderer — who 
hath strayed, but not wantonly, and who hath 
now happily returned. 

"ONE would imagine, there was little nec- 
essity of making such a vindication to you ; 
but my sentiments always flow from the 
abundance of my heart, and I am willing the 
whole world should judge of those which in- 
fluence my conduct. — Now, though some 
men, whose charity is contracted, and who 
may be denominated prudes in virtue, might 
deem wrongfully of my attention to the cal- 
amity of this frail woman yet let me appeal 
to the hearts and understandings of all men, 

and 



Z\)t poiucr of §>?mpatl)i?, 49 

and these in particular, if I have erred, 
whether it be not an errour on the side of 
humanity. Would to God such amiable 
errours were more frequent! — In as much, 
my friend, as there is joy in Heaven over one 
sinner that repenteth, I may say with assur- 
ance that I have felt an emanation of this 
heavenly joy animate my heart, in beholding 
this woman delighting to steer her course 
heavenward. 

" FROM the unhappy condition of Maria, 
I have been led to reflect on the mischievous 
tendency of SEDUCTION. Methinks I 
view the distressing picture in all its horrid 
colours : — 

"BEHOLD the youthful virgin arrayed in 
all the delightful charms of vivacity, modesty 
and sprightliness. — Behold even while she is 
rising in beauty and dignity, like a lily of the 

valley. 



50 t^t potoei: of ^^mpatti^. 

valley, in the full blossom of her graces, she 
is cut off suddenly by the rude hand of the 
Seducer. Unacquainted with his baseness 
and treachery, and. too ready to repose confi- 
dence in him — she is deluded by the prom- 
ises and flattery of the man who professes 
the greatest love and tenderness for her wel- 
fare : — 

" BUT did she understand the secret vil- 
lainy of his intentions — would she appear 
thus elate and joyous ? Would she assent to 
her ruin ? Would she subscribe her name to 
the catalogue of infamy ? Would she kiss 
the hand of the atrocious dastard, already 
raised to give the final wound to her reputa- 
tion and peace ? 

" O ! WHY is there not an adequate pun- 
ishmeWt for this crime, when that of a com- 
mon 



tETlje poiDer of ^^mpatlj^. 51 

mon traitor is marked with its deserved iniq- 
uity and abhorrence ! 

"IS it necessary to depicture the state of 
this deluded young, creature after her fall 
from virtue ? Stung with remorse, and fran- 
tick with despair, does she not fly from the 
face of day, and secrete her conscious head in 
the bosom of eternal forgetfulness ? Melan- 
choly and guilt transfix her heart, and she 
sighs out her miserable existence — the prey 
of poverty, ignominy and reproach ! Lost 
to the world, to her friends, and to herself, 
she blesses the approach of death in whatever 
shape he may appear, and terminates a life, 
no longer a blessing to its possessor, or a joy 
to those around her. 

'•BEHOLD her stretched upon the mourn- 
ful bier ! — Behold her silently descend to the 
grave ! Soon the wild weeds spring afresh 

round 



52 Z\)t potoer of ^^mpatl)^. 

round the /i^^k hillock, as if to shelter the 
remains of betrayed innocence — and the 
friends of her youth shun even the spot which 
conceals her relicks. 

" SUCH is the consequence of SEDUC- 
TION, but it is not the only consequence. 
Peace and happiness fly from the nuptial 
couch which is unattended by love and fidelity. 
The mind no longer enjoys its quiet, while it 
ceases to cherish sentiments of truth and 
gratitude. The sacred ties of connubial duty 
are not to be violated with impunity; for 
though a violation of those ties may be over- 
looked by the eye of justice, the heart shall 
supply a monitor, who will not fail to correct 
those who are hardy enough to burst them 
asunder. I am &c. 

" W. Holmes." 

TO 



®l)e potoer of ^^mpatti^, 53 

TO this Letter, Mr. Harrington returned 
the following answer. 

Hmi. Mr. Harrington to the Rev. Mr. 
Holmes. 

" PERMIT me, my ever honoured friend, 
to return you thanks for your late favours — 
need I add — an acknowledgement for your 
liberality ? No — your heart supplies a source 
of pleasure which is constantly nourished by 
your goodness and universal charity. — 

"THE picture you have exhibited of a 
ruined fernale is undoubtedly just, but that 
the rude spoiler has his share of remorse is 
equally so — The conclusion of your letter is 
a real picture of the situation of my heart. 

" PERHAPS you were always ignorant of 
the real motives that influenced me, and gave 

a particular 



54 t\)e poiner of §»^mpatl)^. 

a particular bias to my conduct. — At an 
early period of my life, I adopted a maxim, 
that ^^e most necessary learning was a knowl- 
edge of the worlds the pursuit of which, quad- ' 
rating with a volatility of disposition, pre- \ 
sented a variety of scenes to my heated im- 
agination. The eclat of my companions grat- 
ifying my vanity and increasing the gale of 
passion, I became insensibly hurried down 
the stream of dissipation. Here I saw man- 
kind in every point of view — from* the acme 
of the most consummate refinement, to the 
most abject stage of degradation. I soon be- 
came a ready proficient in the great school of 
the world — but an alteration of conduct was 
soon after necessary — I was compelled to it, 
not so much from the world's abhorrence of a 
dissolute course of life, as the dictates of my 
own heart. — It was, indeed, my policy to 
flatter the world, and exhibit a fair outside — 
for I was in love with Amelia — My licentious 

amour 



t\)t pototi: ot ^^mpatl)^. 55 

amour with Maria was secret — she was 
affectionate and tender — her manners were 
pleasing, but still I was unhappy. — 

"MY CAREER of dissipation, however 
alluring it struck my vitiated fancy, left little 
satisfaction on the mind — R.eflection had its 
turn — and the happiness I had promised my- 
self in connexion with the amiable Amelia^ 
I fully enjoyed in our marriage. A course of 
uninterrupted tranquillity ensued, but it was 
of short duration. The volatility of myi 
temper, and the solicitude of my old associ- 
ates, induced me at subsequent periods to fall 
into my old vagaries. The taverns frequently 
found me engaged in meannesses derogatory 
to the character of a gentleman. These 
things I perceived affected the soul of Amelia 
— she was all meekness, gentleness and com- 
passion, and she never once upbraided me 
with my illiberal conduct ; 

But 



56 ti)t potoer of §>^mpatt)i?. 



But let concealment, like a worm in bud, 
Feed on her .damask cheek. 



" BLESSED be that Power who has im- 
planted within us that consciousness of re^ 
proach, which springs from gentleness andi 
love! — Hail sensibility! Ye eloquent ^ears 
of beauty ! that add dignity to human nature 
by correcting its foibles — it was these that 
corrected my faults when recrimination 
would have failed of success — it was these 
that opened every avenue of contrition in my 
heart, when words would have damned up 
every sluice of repentance. 

"IT was now I appeared fully sensible 
that my conduct had hitherto been a course 
of disorder, and that systems of reformation, 
however well planned, had been overturned 
by the breath of adulation, before they had 
been thoroughly carried into execution — 
that I had been drifting upon a sea of incon- 
sistency. 



ttje |0oiDcr of ^^mpatl))?, 57 

sistency, without exercising my judgement; 
like a ship without a rudder, buffeted on the 
bosom of the ocean, the sport of winds and 
waves. 

"THE criminaHty of my connexion with 
Maria appeared with the most aggravated 
circumstances ; it sturig me with remorse — 
and I instantly determined, however severe 
the conflict, to tear her from my bosom — to 
see her no more. — But how was I to inform 
her of it.'' — In what manner was I to bring 
about such a talk ? — Maria must be sacrificed 
to the happiness of Amelia. This was all I 
had to perform — it was a short lesson, but 
it was a hard one for me to execute. 

" WITH this determination, however, I 
entered the apartment of Maria — Duty to 
Amelia and gratitude to Maria interchange- 
ably agitated me — the contention was dubi- 
ous 



58 t\)t ^oixitt of §>Bmpat^^. 

ous — but duty prevailed, and I adhered to 
my former resolution — yet how was I to tell 
her ^Azs would be the last visit ? — Conscious 
she had ever acted in conformity to my 
wishes — how could I accuse her, without 
accusing myself ? — I threw out a few incon- 
siderate and ungrateful hints of jealousy, and 
left the room abruptly. The feelings of 
Maria must have been injured — but how- 
ever her sensibility was affected, mine was 
doubly so ; I felt for her — I felt for our in- 
fant, and these feelings were added to the 
afflictions which had already burst upon my 
devoted head. A few days consideration, 
however, convinced me of the impropriety 
and ingratitude of my behaviour to Maria — 
I hastened to tell her of it — to place her in a 
situation that should screen her from penury 
and malice — and to make provision for the 
child — but she was not to be found. I was 
informed that she had suddenly disappeared, 

and 



^t)0 potocr of ^^mpatl)^. 59 

and that a countryman had, by her order, 
called and taken away the child but a few- 
hours before. This information burst upon 
my head like the voice of sudden thunder — I 
stood motionless, but my agitation was too 
violent to be of any long duration. — 

" A natural tear I shed but wip'd it soon." 

•'IT was your goodness, and the humanity 
of your family, that sheltered the wretched 
Maria, and provided for the helpless Harriot 
— Your feelings are your reward. 

" FROM all the variegated scenes of my 
past life, I daily learn some new lesson of 
humanity. Experience hath been my tutor — 
I now take a retrospect of my past conduct 
with deliberation, but not without some seri- 
ous reflection. Like a sailor, escaped from 
shipwreck, who sits safely on the shore and 
views the horrours of the tempest; but as 

the 



6o Z\)t potoer of ^^mpatlj^. 

the gale subsides, and the waves hide their 
heads in the bosom of the deep, he beholds 
with greater concern the mischief of the 
storm, and the dangers he hath escaped. 
From what innate principle does this arise, 
but from God within the mhzd ! — I assert it 
for the honour of human nature, that no man, 
however dissolute, but comes back to the 
hour of reflection and solemn thoughtfulness 
— when the actions that are passed return 
upon the mind, and this internal monitor sits 
in judgment upon them, and gives her verdict 
of approbation or dislike. 

"HE who listens to its call, views his char- 
acter in its proper light. — I have attended to 
its cry, and I see my deformity — I recall my 
mispent time, but . in vain — I reflect on the 
misery of Maria, and I curse my temerity — 
I reflect on the state into which I have 
plunged a once happy female, and am eager 

to 



t-^t potDcr of ^^ntpatl)?. 6i 

to apply a speedy remedy, but this is vain 
also : Can I restore her that virtue — that 
innocence — that peace, of which I have un- 
manfully robbed her ? — Let us leave the mel- 
ancholy subject. — 

" I WILL not so far supercede the fruit of 
your benevolence, as to presume to offer you 
any other recompense, than my sincere pray- 
ers for your happiness. 

" I have the honour to be, 

" With respect, 
" Yours &c. 
" J. Harrington." 

THE disorder of Maria was fatal 
and rapid — but I hasten to the last scene of 
her life — it has, though I was young, made 
an impression on my mind that time can not 
efface. I went to her, as she was seated on 

the 



62 tirijc l^oloitt of ^^mpatl)^. 

the bed — virtue and harmony were blended 
in her aspect — she was serene and composed 
— and her mein, while it expressed a con- 
sciousness of superior worth and dignity, ex- 
hibited in our view, a striking picture of the 
grandeur of the human soul — patient though 
afiflicted. — of a spirit broken, and borne down 
by severe distress, yet striving to surmount 
all, and aspire to heaven. In what words 
shall I paint to you, my dear Myra, her hero- 
ism and greatness of mind? " Weep not for 
me," said she, perceiving my emotion — 
" Death has nothing shocking to me — I have 
familiarized myself to his terrours — I feel the 
gradual decay of mortality ; and waiting with 
confidence in the Father of Mercy, I am pre- 
pared to resign this mortal breath — I resign it 
in firm assurance of the soul's blessed immor- ' 
tality — Death I view as freeing me from a. 
world which has lost its reHsh — as opening 
new scenes of happiness — But a few mo- 
ments,"' 



Zf)t potDfi; of g)^mpatl)p. 63 

ments," continued she, clasping my hand, 
"and the scene of Hfe is closed forever — 
Heaven opens on my soul — I go where all 
tears shall be wiped away — I welcome death 
as the angel of peace." — She uttered these 
words with a placid smile of resignation — 
her head sunk down on the pillow — and the 
next minute she was an angel. 

"SOUL of the universe!" exclaimed my 
father-in-law — "there flew the gentlest spirit 
that ever animated human dust — Great were 
thy temptations — sincere thy repentance. 
If some human infirmity fell to thy lot, thy 
tears, dear shade, have washed out thy guilt 
forever ! " 



LETTER 



64 tl^t potoer of ^^mpatl)^. 



LETTER XL. 

Mrs. Holmes to Myra. 

Belleview. 

HAVING presented you with 
several observations on Seduction, I think it 
will not be mal apropos to consider the ques- 
tion in another point of view, and discover 
how a woman may be accessary to her own 
ruin — It is hardly worth while to contend 
about the difference between the meaning of 
the terms accessary 2X\.di principal. The differ- 
ence, in fact, is small ; but when a woman, by 
her imprudence, exposes herself, she is acces- 
sary ; for though her heart may be pure, her 
conduct is a tacit invitation to the Seducer. 

EDUCATED 



€})t ^oiatt of ^smpatl)^* 65 

EDUCATED in the school of luxury and 
pride, the female heart grows gradually torpid 
to the fine feelings of sensibility — the blush 
of modesty wears off — the charms of elegant 
simplicity fade by degrees — a,nd the continual 
hurry of dissipation, supersedes the improve- 
ment of serious reflection. Reflection is a 
kind of relaxation from frolicking — it encour- 
ages the progress of virtue, and upholds the 
heart from sinking to depravity. 

WE may lay it down as a principle, that 
^Aa^ conduct which will bear the test of reflec- 
tion, and which creates a pleasure in the mind 
from a consciousness of acting right, is virtu- 
ous: And she whose conduct will not bear 
this test, is necessarily degenerating, and she 
is assenting to her destruction. 

LET a lady be liberal or even magnificent, 
according to her circumstances or situation in 

life; 



66 t^e :potoer of ^^ntpatlj^. 

life ; but let the heart remain uncorrupt, let 
her not be contaminated by wealth, ambition 
or splendour. She may then take a happy 
retrospect of her conduct — her heart cannot 
upbraid her — and the suffrage of her own 
mind is a convincing proof that she has not 
strayed from the path of virtue. 

j^APPY they who can thus reflect — who 
can recall to view the scenes that are past, 
and behold their actions with reiterated satis- 
faction — they become ambitious of excelling 
in everything virtuous, because they are cer- 
tain of securing a continual reward; For as a 
mighty river fertilizes the country through 
which it passes and increases in magnitude 
and force until it empty itself into the ocean: 
So virtue fertilizes or improves the heart, and 
gathers strength and vigour by continual pro- 
gression, until it centre in the consummation 
of its desires. 

DAZZLED 



tCtjc l^otoer of ^^mpatlj^. 67 

DAZZLED by the -glitter of splendour, 
and unmindful of the real charms of economy 
and simplicity, the female heart sighs for the 
enjoyment of fashion, and flutters to join the 
motely train of pleasure. But how is it de- 
luded by empty deceptions ! Like the fruit 
which sprang up in the infernal regions, beau- 
tiful to the eye, but which left upon the taste 
bitter ashes, and was followed by repentance 
— A great quantity of this kind of fruit pre- 
sents itself to my rashly judging sex; and it 
'frequently happens that their hearts have as 
little iftclination to resist the temptation, as 
our general parent to refuse the fatal apple. 

WE do not rouse to our aid fortitude to 
enable us to surmount the temptation, but 
yield ourselves to a kind of voluntary slavery. 
Hence it is observable, that a woman is often 
unhappy in the midst of pleasures — and pet- 
ulant without cause — that she is trifling in 

matters 



68 t\)t poiuer of §)^mpatljp. 

matters of the highest importance; and the 
most momentous concern is considered futile, 
as whim and caprice may chance to dictate. 

THE progress of female luxury, however 
slow it may appear, unless timely checked, 
works with infallible and destructive advances. 
The rule we at first adopted might perhaps 
answer this check ; for by the examination 
thus recommended we behold the dangers 
of a continuation of such conduct — Ruin and 
contempt, the invariable concommitants of 
vice and immorality, proclaim their denuncia- 
tions on a prosecution of it. 

LET us examine the gradual steps, and the 

I consequences of feraale luxury. — A desire to 

1 be admired is the first. Behold a woman 

; surrounded by her worshippers, receiving the 

sacrifice of adulation — what was given her at 

first as compliment, she now demands as her 

due 



t})t |9otoer of ^^mpatti^* 69 

due. She finds herself disappointed, and is 
mortified. The first desire still predominat- 
ing, she attaches herself to the votaries of 
pride, who direct their feet in the paths of 
extravagance and irreligion. Thus sunk into 
effeminacy and meanness, she forfeits her vir- 
tue rather than her pride. Thus terminates 
the career of a woman, whose mind is debili- 
tated, and whose life is expended in the pur- 
suit of vanity. 

IT is said of some species of American ser- 
pents, that they have the power of charming 
birds and small animals, which they destine 
for their prey. The serpent is stretched un- 
derneath a tree — it looks steadfastly on the - 
bird — their eyes meet to separate no more — 
the charm begins to operate — the fascinated 
bird flutters and hops from limb to limb, till 
unable any longer to extend its wings, it falls 
into the voracious jaws of its en^my : This is 

no 



70 tl)t |0ofcD0r of ^^mpatt)^. 

no ill emblem of the fascinating power of 
pleasure. Surrounded with temptation, and 
embarrassed in her circumstances, a woman of 
dissipation becomes less tenacious of her hon- 
our — and falls an easy prey to the fascinat- 
ing power of the seducer. 

HAVING traced to you, my dear Myra, 
the rise, advancement and termination of 
pleasure and pride in the female heart, it 
appears almost unnecessary to remark that 
this conduct cannot bear the test of reflection 
and serious examination. We may, however, 
observe on the contrary, that a woman who 
advances a few steps, often hurries on still 
further to prevent thought. This bars the 
way to a return to that conduct which can 
give pleasure on recollection. She behaves to 
herself as the populace did formerly to women 
suspected of witchcraft — they were tied neck 
and heels and thrown into the river ; if they 

swam 



t\ft potoei- of ^^mpatl)^. 71 

swam they were hung for witches — if they 
sank they were acquitted of the crime, but 
were drowned in the experiment : So when 
we only suspect our hearts of an errour, we 
plunge still deeper into the sea of dissipation, 
to prevent the trial of that conduct which 
impartial reason and judgement would ap- 
prove. 

NOTWITHSTANDING I give this in- 
stance of an encouragement for virtue ; yet in 
all those I have mentioned is a woman acces- 
sary to her ruin. 

DO not imagine, my dear Myra, that I 
mean to argue against all pleasure -^ Many 
of us set out on a principle of false delicacy 
and destructive rivalship ; we cannot behold 
a fine woman without wishing to appear 
finer. A laudable emulation in the conduct 
of all women is extremely praiseworthy — it 

stimulates 



72 t^e ^ofcoer of gj^mpatlii?, 

stimulates them in line of their duty — in- 
creases vivacity and good humour; and am- 
bition, thus directed and pursued, I beg leave 
to designate a female virtue, because it is pro- 
ductive of the most happy consequences. 

BUT it sometimes happens that particular 
virtues lose themselves in their neighbour- 
ing vices, and this laudable emulation degen- 
erates into destructive rivalship. 

A GENTEEL, handsome woman, deser- 
vedly shares the esteem and admiration of all 
men ; but why should this esteem and admira- 
tion, justly paid to merit, give us disquiet ? 
The answer is ready. That desire to be ad- 
mired so predominant in all females, by de- 
grees works itself into the ruling passion, and 
precludes from the mind the particular virtue 
of emulation ; for why a woman who merits 
the love of the world, should draw on her the 

disapprobation 



^\}t potoet of ^^mpatl)^, 73 

disapprobation of many of her own sex, can 
be accounted for, by no other principle, than 
the mean, pitiful passion of envy. 

THIS may possibly give rise to defamation. 
It is astonishing how this practice prevails 
among a./ew persons — because it is known 
by experience, to prove subversive of its very 
intention. — The arrows of envy recoil upon 
herself. 

HOW foolish must that woman appear 
who depreciates the merit of another, that 
she may appear unrivalled ! She raises up 
the dykes of ill-nature, and inundates the 
land with a flood of scandal, but unhappily 
drowns herself in the event. 

I LEAVE it to the result of your observa- 
tion, my dear Myra, whether the woman who 
is first to develope her stores of defamation, 

and 



74 ^t)f |0otoer of ^^mpatlj^. 

and through false emulation, the first to tra- 
duce a woman of real merit and virtue, is not 
also the first who becomes a scandal to her- 
self, and consequently the first that is con- 
demned. 

HOW opposite are the pursuits and re- 
wards of her who . participates in every ra- 
tional enjoyment of life, without mixing in 
those scenes of indiscretion which give pain 
on recollection! — Whose chymical genius 
leads her to extract the poison from the most 
luxuriant flowers, and to draw honey even 
from the weeds of society. She mixes with 
the world seemingly indiscriminately — and 
because she would secure to herself that satis- 
faction which arises from a consciousness of 
acting right, she views her conduct with an 
eye of scrutiny. Though her temper is free 
and unrestrained, her heart is previously se- 
cured by the precepts of prudence — for pru- 
dence 



fflje potoer of §>^mpatl)y, 75 

dence is but another name for virtue. Her 
manners are unruffled, and her disposition 
calm, temperate and dispassionate, however 
she may be surrounded by the temptations of 
the world. 

Adieu ! 



LETTER 



76 t^e ^Botoer of §»smpatl)^. 



LETTER XLI. 

Harrington to Worthy. 

Boston. 

PRAY that the sun of Thurs- 
day may rise propitious — that it may gild 
the face of nature with joy. It is the day that 
beholds thy friend united in the indissoluble 
banns of Hymen. 

Let this auspicious day be ever sacred, 
No mourning, no misfortune happen on it ; 
Let it be marked for triumphs and rejoicings. 
Let happy lovers even keep it holy, 
Choose it to bless their hopes and crown their 
wishes. 



IT 



t^t ^(tiatt of g>^mpatl)y. 77 

IT is the day that gives me Harriot for- 
ever. 

Adieu ! 



LETTER 



78 tlTlje pototr of ^^mpat^i^. 



LETTER XLII. 

The Hon. Mr. Harrington to the 
Rev. Mr. Holmes. 

Boston. 

YOU very well know of my 
amour with Maria, and that a daughter was 
the offspring of that illicit connexion — that 
sixteen years have elasped since, by your 
goodness, she has lived with Mrs. Francis,. 
and let me add, daily improving in beauty and 
every amiable accomplishment — but how 
shall we be able — how shall we pretend to 
investigate the great springs by which we 
are actuated, or account for the operation of, 
SYMPATHY/ — my son, who has been at home 

about 



s t\)e potoer of ^^mpatlj^. 79 

about eight weeks, has accidentally seen her, 
and to complete the triumph of nature — 
has loved her. He is now even upon the 
point of marrying — shall I proceed ! — of mar- 
rying his Sister! — A circumstance seem- 
ingly fortuitous has discovered this impor- 
tant affair — I fly to prevent incest — Do not 
upbraid me with being author of my own 
misfortunes. — "This comes of your libertin- 
ism," you will say, " this comes of your adul- 
tery!" — Spare your reflections, my friend — 
my heart is monitor enough — I am strangely 
agitated ! 

Adieu ! 



LETTER 



8o tift potDcr of ^^mjpatl)]J. 



LETTER XLIII. 

TAe Hon. Mr. Harrington to the 
Rev. Mr. Holmes. 

Boston. 

MY heart failed me ! twenty 
times have I attempted to break the matter to 
my son — and twenty times have I returned 
frorh the talk — I have a friend to acquaint him 
how nearly connected he already is with the 
object of his love. This is a new, and to me 
a sorrowful instance of the force of sympathy 
— My grief is insupportable — my affliction 
is greater than I can bear — it will bring 
down my grey hairs with sorrow to the 
grave. 

Farewel ! 

LETTER 



t^t IpotDcr of ^^mpatl))?. 8i 



LETTER XLIV. 

Harrington to Worthy. 

Boston. 

ALL my airy schemes of love 
and happiness are vanished Hke a dream. 
Read this, and pity your unfortunate friend. 

To Mr. T. Harrington : 

"SIR, 

"YOU are about to marry a young 
lady of great beauty and accomplishments — 
I beg you to bestow a few serious thoughts 
on this important business — Let me claim 
your attention, while -I disclose an affair, 
which materially concerns you — Harriot 

must 



82 tlTljE poijytt of ^^mpatl)^. 

must not be your wife — You know your 
father is averse to your early connecting your- 
self in marriage with any woman — The duty 
we owe a parent is sacred, but this is not the 
only barrier to your marriage — the ties of 
consanguinity prevent it — Shciis your SIS- 
TER — Your father, or Miss Harrington, 
will inform you more particularly — It is suffi- 
cient for me to have hinted it in time. — I am, 
with the most perfect esteem, and sincere 
wishes for your happiness, your 

" Unknown friend, &c." 
(In continuation.) 

THE gloom of melancholy in 
the faces of the family but too well corrobora- 
ted this intelligence — so I asked no ques- 
tions — they read in my countenance that I 
had received the letter, and my sister put into 
my hand The History of Maria. — I con- 
cealed 



t\}t potoer of §>^mpatt)^. 83 

cealed my emotion while I read the account 
— " It is a pitiful tale," said I, as I returned it 
: — and walked out of the room to give vent 
to the agitation of my heart. 

I HAVE not yet seen Harriot — Myra 
has run to greet her with the new title of sis- 
ter. Adieu ! my friend — little happiness is 
left for me in this world. 



LETTER 



84 t\)t potoer of ^^mpatl)^. 



LETTER XLV. 

Myra to Mrs. Hohnes. 

Boston. 

IN what words shall I describe 
to you, my dear friend, the misery that has 
suddenly overwhelmed us ! It is impossible to 
communicate the distressed situation of Har- 
riot — Expression is inadequate to give you 
an idea of our meeting. — I called her my 
friend — my sister — She always loved me — 
, but joy and affection gave way to passion — 
Her speech refused its office — 

Sorrow in all its pomp was there, 
Mute and magnificent without a tear. 

SHE had gained a sister — she had lost a 

lover 



t\)t |0otoer of ^^mpatliB. 85 

lover — a burst of joy would suddenly break 
from her, but it was of short duration — and 
was succeeded by pangs of exquisite distress 

— nature was unable to support it, and she 
fainted under the weight of severe conflict. 
Her constitution at best is feeble; her present 
illness is therefore attended with more danger 

— Unless a speedy alteration should take 
place, the physician has little hopes of her re- 
covery. — Heaven preserve us ! 

Farewel ! 



LETTER 



86 t\)t potoer of §>?tnpatl)^. 



LETTER XLVI. 
Harrington to Worthy. 

Boston. 

I HAVE seen her — I prest 
her to my heart — I called her my Love — 
my Sister. The tenderness and sorrow were 
in her eyes — How am I guilty, my friend — 
How is this transport a crime ? My love is 
the most pure, the most holy — Harriot be- 
held me with tears of the most tender affec- 
tion — " Why," said she, " why, my friend, my 
dear Harrington, have I loved ! but in what 
manner have I been culpable? How was I to 

KNOW YOU WERE MY BrOTHER ? YcS ! I 

might have known it — how else could you 

have 



Z^t potoer of ^^mpatlj?. 87 

have been so kind — so tender — so affection- 
ate ! " — Here was all the horrour of conflict- 
ing passions, expressed by gloomy silence — 
by stifled cries — by convulsions — by sudden 
floods of tears — The scene was too much for 
my heart to bear — I bade her adieu — my 
heart was breaking — I tore myself' from her 
and retired. 

WHAT is human happiness? The prize 
for which all strive, and so few obtain ; the 
more eagerly we pursue it, the farther we 
stray from the object ; Wherefore I have de- 
termined within myself that we increase in 
misery as we increase in age — and if there 
are any happy days they are those of thought- 
less childhood. 

I THEN viewed the world at a distance in 
perspective. I thought rjiankind appeared 
happy in the midst of pleasures that flowed 

round 



88 t\)t potDcr of §>smpatt)B. 

round them. I who find it a deception, and 
am tempted sometimes to wish myself a child 
again. Happy are the dreams of infancy, and 
happy their harmless pursuits ! I saw the 
ignis fatuus^ and have been running after it, 
and now I return from the search. I return 
and bring back disappointment. As I reflect 
on these scenes of infantine ignorance, I feel 
my heart interested, and become sensibly 
affected — and however futile these feelings 
may appear as I communicate them to you — 
they are feelings, I venture to assert, which 
every one must have experienced who is pos- 
sessed of a heart of sensibility. 

Adieu ! 



LETTER 



t\)e potoer of ^^m^atlj^. 89 



LETTER XLVII 

Harrington to Worthy. 

Boston. 

I NO longer receive satisfaction 
■fronn the enjoyments of the world — society is 
distasteful to me — my favorite authors I have 
entirely relinquished — In vain I try to forget 
myself, or seek for consolation — my repose is 
interrupted by distressing visions of the night 
— my thoughts are broken — I cannot even 
think regularly. 

HARRIOT is very weak — there is no 
hope of her life. 

Adieu ! 

LETTER 



90 Z^t |0otDer of g>^mpatti^. 



LETTER XLVIII. 

Harrington to Worthy. 

Boston. 

MY dear friend, I have a great 
desire to see you — I wish you could come 
home speedily — I must be short — I have 
some serious business to do. 

Farewel ! 
P. S. THEY say life is a blessing 
and it is our duty to improve and enjoy it ; 
but when life becomes insupportable and we 
find no blessing in it — have we not a right to 
resign it ? 

Farewel! 

LETTER 



€^e poiiott of ^^mpatl)^, 91 



LETTER XLIX. 

TAe Hon. Mr. Harrington to the 
Rev. Mr. Holmes. 

Boston. 

ACCUMULATED sorrows con- 
tinue to break over my devoted head. Har- 
riot is at times deprived of her reason, and 
we have no expectation of her recovery — my 
son is deeply affected — he seems strangely 
disordered. 

REVOLVING in my mind all these things 
and the unhappy affair that led to them, the 
whole train of my past life returned fresh 
upon my mind. Pained with the disagree- 
able picture, and oppressed with the weight 

of 



92 t^t^oinet of ^]?mpatl)S, 

of my affliction, I sunk down to sleep : These 
circumstances had so strongly impressed my 
imagination that they produced the following 
Dream — My blood is chilled with horrour as 
I write. 

METHOUGHT I suddenly found myself 
in a large, open field, waste and uncultivated 

— here I wandered in a solitary manner for 
some time — grief seized my heart at the aw- 
ful appearance of the place, and I cried aloud 

— "How long shall I travel here, alone and 
friendless — a dusky mist swims before my 
sight, and the obscure horizon seems only to 
inclose this dismal wild ! " Having advanced 
a few steps, I thought a light at a dis- 
tance appeared to my doubtful view. Faint 
with fatigue, I approached it, and had the sat- 
isfaction to behold a person of the most be- 
nign aspect — a quiet serenity was painted 
on his brow, happiness ineffable beamed 

from 



t})t l^otoei: of ^^tnpatl)^, 93 

from his Divine countenance — Joy leaped in 
my bosom, and in the ecstasy of passion I en- 
deavoured to clasp the blessed spirit to my 
heart; but it vanished in my embrace, 

" TEACH me, blessed shade," said I, with 
a trembling voice — " Teach me to find the 
habitations of men — What do I here? — Why 
am I doomed to explore the barren bosom of 
this baleful desert ? " " This," returned the 
spirit, in a voice, which, while it commanded 
veneration and love, struck awe and terrour 
into my soul — " TAzs is not the habitation of 
the sons of mortality — it is the place ap- 
pointed to receive the souls of all men, after 
they have resigned the bodies they animated 
on earth. Those who have violated the laws 
of reason, humanity, religion, and have dis- 
honoured their God, here meet the punish- 
ment due to their crimes. 

"ATTEND me, therefore, and view the 

condition 



94 ^¥ pototr of g>^mpatl)^. 

condition of those thoughtless souls, who, a 
few days ago, were upon earth immersed in 
pleasure, luxury and vice — Regardless of 
futurity, and unprepared for their eternal 
summons to another world — and who per- 
sisted in the delight of their own eyes in op- 
position to the Divine law, and deaf to the 
voice of reclaiming virtue. These, the sons 
of folly and riot, are smitten by the angel of 
death, while they are yet drinking of the 
bowl of vice — while the words of blasphemy 
yet dwell upon their tongues. And when 
their unhappy spirits sink to these infernal 
regions, their surviving companions rehearse 
their funeral panegyricks — the praise of one 
is, that he could drink the longest — the 
merit of another that he could sing a good 
song — a third secures his fame by being ex- 
cellent in mimickry and buffoonery. — How 
unhappy he must be, who leaves no other 
testimony of his usefulness behind him ! 

"HOW 



tl^t ^oiott of ^^mpatl)^. 95 

"HOW different is the fate of the good 
man : While upon earth his hfe is employed 
in the cause of virtue. —The happiness he 
bestows on those around him is reflected back 
with ten-fold reward ; and when he takes rank 
in that happy place, where there is fullness of 
joy, and leaves the world of mankind, what 
numbers are joined in the general concern of 
his loss ! — The aged, while they prepare for 
the same journey, delight to dwell on his 
good actions — the virgin strews flowers on 
his grave, and the poet consumes the mid- 
night oil to celebrate his virtues." 

THERE was so much benignity in every 
word and action of my attendant, that I found 
myself imperceptibly attached to him. My 
attention to his discourse had prevented me 
from observing the progress we had made — 
for we had arrived at a place encircled with 
high walls — A great' gate, at the command of 

my 



96 Z\)t poiDcr of ^^mpatl)^* 

my guide, instantly flew open — " Follow 
me," said he — I tremblingly obeyed. 

MY ears were instantaneously filled with 
the faint cries of those here doomed to re- 
ceive the rewards of their demerits. Looking 
earnestly forward, I beheld a group of un- 
happy wretches — I observed a person who 
was continually tormenting them — he held 
in one hand a whip, the lashes of which were 
composed of adders, and the stings of scor- 
pions; and in the other a large mirrour, which, 
when he held up to the faces of the ^tormented 
exhibited their crimes in the most flagrant 
colours, and forced them to acknowledge the 
justness of their punishment. " These," said 
my guide, " who are scourged with a whip of 
scorpions, and who start with horrour at the 
reflection of their deeds upon earth, are the 
souls of the Gambler — the Prodigal — the 
Duellist, and the Ingrate. 

"THOSE 



t^t potDcr of ^^mpatl)^. 97 

" THOSE whom you see yonder," contin- 
ued he, "those wasted, emaciated spirits, 
are the souls of the Envious — they are 
doomed to view the most beautiful fruit, 
which they can never taste, and behold pleas- 
ures which they can never enjoy. This pun- 
ishment is adjudged them because most of 
those vile passions, by which men suffer them- 
selves to be ruled, bring real evil, for prom^ 
ised good. 

" FOR this reason the all-wise Judge hath 
ordered the same passions still to inflame 
those ghosts, with which they were possessed 
on earth — Observe yon despicable crew ! — 
behold the sin of Avrice ! — those sordid 
ghosts are the souls of Misers — Lo! they eye 
their delightful bags with horrid pleasure ; 
and with a ghastly smile, brood over their 
imaginary riches. Unable to carry their 
wealth about with them, they are c'onfined to 

one 



98 titlje jaoiuer of ^^mpatlj^. 

one spot, and in one position. This infernal 
joy is the source of their tortures, for behold 
them start at every sound, and tremble at the 
flitting of a shade. Thus are they doomed to 
be their own tormentors — to pore over their 
gold with immortal fear, apprehension, and 
jealousy and to guard their ideal wealth with 
tears of care, and the eyes of eternal watchful- 
ness. 

" BEHOLD here," continued my guide, 
"the miserable division of Suicides !" " Un- 
happy they ! " added I, " who, repining at the 
ills of life, raised the sacrilegious steel against 
their own bosoms ! How vain the reiterated 
wish to again animate the breathless clay — to 
breath the vital air — and to behold the 
cheering luminary of Heaven!" — "Upbraid 
me not — O my father!" cried a voice — I 
looked up, and thought my son appeared 
among them — immediately turning from 

so 



t))z l^ointv of g>smpatlj^« 99 

so shocking a spectacle, I suddenly beheld my 
once loved Maria — "O delight of my youth! 
do I behold thee once more ! — Let me hide 
my sorrows in thy friendly bosom." I ad- 
vanced towards her — but she flew from me 
with scorn and indignation — " O speak ! 
Maria ! speak to me ! " She pointed with 
her finger to a group of spirits, and was out 
of sight in a moment. 

" LET me," said my conductor, " prepare 
you for a more dreadful sight." The increas- 
ing melancholy, and affecting gloom of the 
situation, forboded something terrifying to 
my soul — I looked toward the place where 
Maria had pointed, and saw a number of 
souls remote from any division of the un- 
happy. In their countenances were depicted 
more anguish, sorrow and despair — I turned 
my head immediately from this dreadful 
sight, without distinguishing the nature of 

their 



loo Z\)t ^oinet of ^^ntpat^i^, 

their torments. Quivering with horrour, I 
inquired who they were — " These," answered 
my guide, with a sigh, " are the miserable 
race of SEDUCERS. — Repentance and 
shame drive them far front the rest of the 
accursed. Even the damned look on them 
with horrour, and thank fate their crimes 
are not of so deep a die." 

HE had hardly finished, when a demon 
took hold of me and furiously hurried me' in 
the midst of this unhappy group — I was so 
terrified that it immediately aroused me from 
my sleep. — 

EVEN now, while I write to you, my good 
friend, my hand trembles with fear at the 
painful remembrance — Yet 

— 'Twas but a dream, but then 

So terrible, it shakes my very soul.— 

Farewel ! 

LETTER 



t^t jaotocr of ^?mpatl)^. loi 



LETTER L. 
Harriot to Harrington. 

Boston. 

MUST I then forget the en- 
dearments of the lover, and call you by the 
name of brother? But does our friendship 
remain upon this foundation ? Is this all 
that unites us ? And has there subsisted 
nothing more tender — a sentiment more 
voluntary in our hearts ? My feelings affirm 
that there was. At the hour of our first in- 
terview I felt the passion kindle in my breast. 
Insensible of my own weakness, I indulged 
its increasing violence and delighted in the 
flame that fired my reason and my senses. 

Do 



I02 Q3^l)c ipofcoei: of g)^mpatl)s. 

Do you remember our walks, our conversa- 
tion^, our diversions ? — The remembrance of 
these things fill my mind with inconceivable 
torture — they seem to reproach me with un- 
merited criminality — I deprecate, I detest all 
these scenes of gaiety and frivolity — yet I 
have preserved my innocence and my virtue 
— what then have I to deprecate, what have 
I to detest ? 

ALAS! how have we been forming 
schemes of happiness, and mocking our 
hearts with unsubstantial joys. Farewel ! 
farewell ye gilded scenes of imagination. 
How have we been deluded by visionary 
prospects, and idly dwelt upon that happiness 
which was never to arrive. • How fleeting 
have been the days that were thus employed ! 
— when articipation threw open the gates of 
happiness, and we vainly contemplated the 
approach of bliss ; and we beheld in reversion, 

the 



Z^e potoer of ^^mpatti^. 103 

the pleasures of life, and fondly promised our- 
selves, one day to participate in them ; when 
we beheld in the magick mirrour of futurity, 
the lively group of loves that sport in the 
train of joy. We observed in transports of 
delight the dear delusion, and saw them, as it 
were, in bodily form pass in review before us; 
as the fabled hero views the region of preeex- 
istant spirits, and beholds a race of men yet 
to be born. 

SUCH was our hope, but even this fairy 
anticipation was not irrational. We were 
happy in idea, nor was the reality far behind. 
And why is the vision vanished ? O ! I sink, 
I die, when I reflect — when I find in my 
Harrington a brother — I am penetrated 
with inexpressible grief — I experience un- 
common sensations — I start with horrour at 
the idea of incest — of ruin — of perdition. 

HOW do I lament this fatal discovery, 

that 



I04 t^t potocr of ^^mpatl)^. 

that includes the termination of a faithful 
love! I think of him whom I have resolved 
to be eternally constant — and ah ! how often 
have I resolved it in my heart. I indulge, in 
idea, the recollection of his caresses — of his 
protestations, and of his truth and sincerity — 
I become lost in a wilderness, and still I travel 
on, and find myself no nearer an escape. I 
cherish the dear idea of a lover — I see the 
danger and do not wish to shun it, because to 
avoid it, is to forget it — And can I, at one 
stroke, erase from my mind the remembrances 
of all in which my heart used to delight.? Ah! 
I have not the fortitude — I have not the vir- 
tue, to "forget myself to marble." On the 
contrary, I strive no longer to remember our 
present connexion. I endeavour to forget — 
I curse the idea of a brother — my hand re- 
fuses to trace the word, and yet 

The name appears 

Already written ; blot it out my tears ! 

AH, 



Z\)e ^oijatt of ^gmpatl)^. 105 

AH, whence this sorrow that invests my 
soul ! This gloom that darkens — this fire 
of impassioned grief, that involves all my 
thoughts ! why do I rave, and why do I 
again abandon myself to despair ! Come, 
O Harrington ! be a friend, a protector, a 
brother — be him, on whom I could never yet 
call by the tender, the endearing title of par- 
ent. I will reverence him in whom all the 
charities of life are united — I will be dutiful 
and affectionate to you, and you shall be unto 
me as a father — I will bend on the knee of re- 
spect and love, and will receive your blessing. 

Why did you go away so soon ? Why 
leave me when I was incapable of bidding 
you adieu ? When you pressed my cheek 
with the kiss of love, of fraternal affection 
what meant its conscious glow ? What meant 
the ebullition of my veins, the disorder of my 
nerves, the intoxication of my brain, the blood 

that 



io6 &)t poioer of ^^mpatl)^. 

that mantled in my heart ? My hand trem- 
bled, and every object seemed to swim before 
my doubtful view — Amidst the struggle of 
passion, how could I pronounce the word — 
how could I call you by the title of brother ? 
True — -I attempted to articulate the sound, 
but it died upon my tongue, and I sank 
motionless into your arms. 

ALLIED by birth, and in mind, and sim- 
ilar in age — and in thought still more inti- 
mately connected, the sympathy which bound 
our souls together, at first sight, is less extra- 
ordinary. Shall we any longer wonder at 
its irresistible impulse ? — Shall we strive to 
oppose the /mk 0/ nature that draws us to 
each other .'' When I reflect on this, I re- 
lapse into weakness and tenderness, and be- 
come a prey to warring passions. I view you 
in two distinct characters : If I indulge the 
idea of one, the other becomes annihilated, 

and 



tf)t potorr of ^^mpatl)^. 107 

and I vainly imagine I have my choice of a 
brother or — 

I AM for a while calm ^ — but alas ! how 
momentary is that calmness ; I dwell with 
rapture on what fancy has represented; but 
is the choice regulated by virtue ? Is it 
prompted by reason ? I recollect myself, and 
endeavour to rouse my prudence and forti- 
tude ; I abhor my conduct, and wish for ob- 
scurity and forgetfulness. Who can bear the 
torment of fluctuating passion ? How de- 
plorable is the contest? The head and the 
heart are at variance, but when Nature pleads 
how feeble is the voice of Reason ? Yet, 
when Reason is heard in her turn, how crim- 
inal appears every wish of my heart ? What 
remorse do I experience ? What horrours 
surround me ? Will my feeble frame, already 
wasted by a lingering decline, support these 
evils ? Will the shattered, frail bark outride 

the 



io8 t\)t potDer of ^^mpatl)^. 

the tempest, and will the waves of afifliction 
beat in vain ? Virtue, whose precepts I have 
not forgotten, will assist me — if not to sur- 
mount, at least to suffer with fortitude and 
patience. 

OH ! I fear, I fear my decaying health — 
If I must depart, let me beseech you to forget 
me — I know the strength of your passion, 
and I dread the fatal consequences my depar- 
ture may occasion you. 

ONCE more let me intreat you, my dear 
friend, to arm yourself with every virtue 
which is capable of sustaining the heaviest 
calamity. Let the impetuosity of the lover's 
passion be forgotten in the undisturbed quiet- 
ness of the brother's affection, and^.may all 
the blessings that life can supply be yours — 
Seek for content, and you will find it, even 

though 



tW }poijott of ^T^mpatl)?. 1 09 

though we should never meet again in this 
world. 

Adieu! 



LETTER 



I lo t^t poton: of g>^mpatl)^. 



LETTER LI. 

Myra to Mrs. Holmes. 

Boston. 

THE curtain is dropped, and 
the scene of life is forever closed — The 
Lovely Harriot is no More. 

SHE is fit to appear in Heaven, ^or her 
life was a scene of purity and innocence — If 
there is any consolation to be felt by a sur- 
vivour, it is in the reflection of the amiable 
qualities of the deceased. My heart shall not 
cease to cherish her idea, for she was beauti- 
ful without artifice, and virtuous without 
affectation. 

Seel 



turtle jaotoer of ^^mpatljv. 1 1 1 

See ! there all pale and dead she lies ; 
Forever flow my streaming eyes — 
There dwelt the fairest — lovliest mind, 
Faith, sweetness, wit together join'd. 

Dwelt faith and wit and sweetness there ? 
O, view the change, and drop a tear. 

MY brother is exceedingly agitated — He 
will never support this disastrous stroke — 
Nothing can attract his attention — nothing 
allay his grief — but it is the affliction of rea- 
son and not of weakness — God grant that it 
prove not fatal to him. 

Adieu ! — Adieu ! 



LETTER 



1 1 2 Z\)e jaotDcr of ^^mpat^iB. 



LETTER LII. 

Harrington to Worthy. 

Boston. 
SHE is gone — she is dead — she 
who was the most charming, the most gentle, 
is gone — You may come — you may desire 
to behold all that was lovely — but your eyes 
will not see her. 

YES ! I raved — I was distracted — but 
now I am calm and dispassionate — I am 
smooth as the surface of a lake — I shall 
see her again. 

WHEN our spirits are disencumbered of 
this load of mortality, and they wing their 

flight 



2;i)e potoer of g)^mpatl)^« 1 13 

flight to the celestial regions, shall we not 
then know those who were dear to us in this 
world ? Shall we not delight in their society, 
as we have done in this state of existence ? 
Yes — certainly we shall — we shall find 
them out in Heaven — there alone is happi- 
ness — there shall I meet her — there our 
love will not be a crime — Let me indulge 
this thought — it gives a momentary joy to 
my heart — it removes the dark mist that 
swims before my eyes — it restores tranquil- 
ity ; but the more I reflect on this thought — 
the more I long to be there — the more I de- 
test this world and all it contains. I sigh to 
fly away from it. 



LETTER 



1 14 tKljt poiucr of S>^mpatl)^. 



LETTER LIII. 

Harrington to Worthy. 

INGRATITUDE is a predominant 
principle in the conduct of man. The perfid- 
ious — , who owes to me his reputation and 
fortune, and with whom I intrusted a great 
part of my property, has deceived me. The 
affair will materially retard my business. 

TO be unfortunate in trade is not worth a 
sigh — to receive inattention and incivility 
does not merit a frown ; but Ingratitude — 
it is this that cuts to the quick. Yet I freely 
give him my pity ; for what man, who con- 
sidered for a moment the inconsistency of 
the human heart, would hurl the thunderbolt 

of 



2;i)e potoec of ^^mpatl)^, 115 

of indignation at the head of an ingrate ? 
What an important little thing is man ! he 
contrives to over-reach his neighbour, and 
mount to the enjoyment of riches, ambition 
and splendour ; but remember not the period 
of enjoyment — that his life is a day, and his 
space a "point ! 

NATURALISTS inform us of insects 
whose term of existence is confined to a few 
hours — What is the business and importance 
of such a life ? 

WOULD not a being, -whost circle of living 
is immensity of ages, inquire with equal pro- 
priety: "What is the importance of man — 
What actions can he perform — What happi- 
ness can he enjoy, whose insignificant life is 
circumscribed to seventy years?" — In this 
point of view I behold the tinsel, the vanity 
and noise of the world, and the little plots 

and 



ii6 Z^t pottjer of S)?mpatti^. 

and cunning artifices of mankind to cheat 
and ruin one another. 

INGRATITUDE, then, is constitutional, 
and inseparable from human nature, but it 
ought not to fill us with surprize, because it 
is no new discovery — It has ever been invar- 
iably the characteristick of man. Is not the 
page of antiquity distained with blood of 
those who ought to have received honour and 
adoration ? Behold the brilliant race of the 
world's benefactors : Consider their benevo- 
lent actions, and regard their ungrateful re- 
turn — these benefactors, who have been sent 
from Heaven to inform and entertain man- 
kind, to defend the world from the arm of 
, tyranny, and to open the gates of salvation, 
have been despised, and banished, and pois- 
oned and crucified. 

BEHOLD the support of the Roman 
power, the invincible Belisarius ! who pro- 
tected 



t^t poioer of ^^ntpatl)?. 1 1 7 

tected his country from the ravage of the 
Huns, and displayed the Roman eagle in 
every quarter of the globe ! Behold him fall 
a sacrifice to malice, to faction and ingrati- 
tude ! Bfehold him cast out by the country 
he had defended, and for which he had wasted 
his life to protect and honour, and left alone 
to deplore his unfortunate condition, when he 
was old, and blind, and naked and miserable ! 

UNFORTUNATE is the man who trusts 
his happiness to the precarious friendship of 
the world — I every day become more of a 
misanthrope, and see nothing to increase my 
desire of living, but your esteem and affection. 
I want advice, but am too proud to let the 
world know I am weak enough to be under 
obligation to anyone else. 

THAT you may never want friends or 
advice, is the sincere prayer of 

Yours &c. 

LETTER 



1 1 8 t^t ^o\Dtt of ^^mpatljB. 



LETTER LIV. 

Harrington to Worthy. 



Boston. 



ALL the scenes of my past life 
return fresh upon my merriory. I examine 
every circumstance as they pass in review be- 
fore me — I see nothing to cause any disa- 
greeable or unwelcome sensations — no ter- 
rour upbraids — no reproaching conscience 
stings my bosom as I reflect on the actions 
that are past. With her I expected happi- 
ness — I have expected a vain thing — for 
there is none — She is gone — gone to a far 
country — she is preparing a place for me — 
a place of unutterable blisS — But oh ! an im- 
measurable 



Z^t potner of ^^mpatl)^. 119 

measurable gulph lies between us — Who can 
tell the distance that separates us? What 
labour — what toil — what pain must be en- 
dured in traversing the thorny paths that lead 
to her blessed abode ? — And will she not 
receive me in those happy regions with as 
much joy — with as sincere a welcome — if 
I cut short my journey? — And will not the 
Eternal Dispenser of Good, pardon the awful 
deed that frees me from this world of misery 
— the deed by which I obtrude myself into 
his divine presence ? 

WHY must I wait the lingering hand of 
the grisly messenger to summon me to the 
world above ? 



LETTER 



I20 Z))t potoer of S>^mpat^^. 



LETTER LV. 

Harrington to Worthy. 

Boston. 

AM I a child that I should 
weep? — I have been meditating on the 
course of my calamities — Why did my father 
love Maria — or rather, why did I love their 
Harriot? Curse on this tyrant custom that 
dooms such helpless children to oblivion or 
infamy! Had I known her to have been my 
sister, my love would have been regular, I 
should have loved her as a sister, I should 
have marked her beauty — I should have de- 
lighted in protecting it. I should have 
observed her growing virtues^ — I should have 
been happy in cherishing their growth. 
But alas ! She is gone — and I cannot stay 
— I stand on the threshold of a vast eternity. 

LETTER 



ti)t ^omx of ^^mpat^^, 12 1 



LETTER LVI. 

Harrington to Worthy. 

Boston. 

I AM determined to quit this 
life. I feel much easier since my determina- 
tion. The step must not be. taken with rash- 
ness. I must be steady — calm — collected — 
I will endeavour to be. so. — 

HER eager solicitation — the anxiety she 
always expressed for me — When I think she 
is no more, it wrings my heart with grief, and 
fills my eyes with tears — 

— I must go — 

THE idea chills me — I am frozen with 

horrour 



122 tift |0otDfr of ^^mpatl)^. 

horrour — cold damps hang on my trembling 
body — My soul is filled with a thousand 
troubled sensations — I must depart — it 
must be so — My love for thee, O Harriot ! 
is dearer than life — Thou hast first sat out 
— and I am to follow. — 

WERE it possible that I could live with 
her, should I be happy ? Would her presence 
restore peace and tranquility to my disor- 
dered mind ? Ah no ! it never would here — 
it never would. I will fly to the place, where 
she is gone — our love will there be refined 
— I will lay my sorrows before her — and she 
shall wipe away all tears from my eyes. 

WHEN the disembodied spirit flies above — 
■when it leaves behind the senseless clay, and 
wings its flight — it matters not to me what 
they do with his remains. 

Cover his head with a clod or a stone, 
It is all one — it is all one ! 

LETTER 



t^t |3oiiifr of ^^mpat^^. 123 



LETTER LVII. 

Harrington to Worthy. 

Boston. 

THE longer I live, and the 
more I see the misery of life — the more my 
desire of living is extinguished. What I for- 
merly esteemed trifles, and would not deign 
to term misfortunes, now appear with a for- 
midable aspect — though I once thought 
them harmless, and innoxious to my peace, 
they assume new terrours every day. — But 
is not this observation general .? It is — It is 
thus every son of human nature, gradually 
wishes for death, and neglects to seek for, 
and improve those comforts, which by dili- 
gent search there is a possibility of attaining. 

AM 



124 ^IJf potocr of ^^mpattiy. 

AM I to reason from analogy ? I know 
what has been — the afflictions I have felt; 
but what is the prospect before me ? The 
path is darkened by mists — 

Puzzled in mazes, and perplexed with errours — 

WHO is there hardy enough to try difficul- 
ties ? Is not the view horrible ! My pains 
and anxieties have been severe — those 
which, if I live, I shall suffer, may be yet 
more so — This idea sinks me to despair. 

AS a thing becomes irksome to us, our de- 
testation is always increased — Whatever 
object is disagreeable, we pine and sicken 
until it is moved out of sight. Life growing 
upon one in this manner — increasing in hor- 
rour — with continual apprehension of death 
— a certainty of surviving every enjoyment, 
and no prospect of being delivered from sus- 
pense — it is intolerable — he will assuredly 
be tempted to terminate the business with 

his own hand. 

LETTER 



tf)t potoer of ^rmpatl)?. 1 2 5 



LETTER LVIII. 

Worthy to Harrington. 

Boston. 

YOU argue as if your reason 
were perverted — Let your mind be em- 
ployed, and time will wear out these gloomy 
ideas ; for it is certainly a truth, the love of 
life increases with age — Your letters, there- 
fore, are predicated on the most erroneous 
principles. 

REMEMBER the story of the old man, 
who had been buried in a dungeon the greater 
part of his life, and who 'was liberated at an 
advanced age. He viewed, once more, the 

light 



126 ®l)e polnei: of S>^mpatl)^. 

light of the sun, and the habitations of men — 
he had come into a new order of beings, but 
found their manners distasteful — In the 
midst of the sunshine of the world he remem- 
bered the prison, where he had wasted his 
life, and he sighed to be again immured 
within its walls. 

SUCH is our passion for life ; we love it 
because we know it; and our attachment be- 
comes the more riveted, the longer we are 
acquainted with it — Our prison grows 
familiar — we contemplate its horrours — but 
however gloomy the walls that surround us, 
there is not one but sets a full value on his 
dreary existence — there is not one but finds 
his partiality for his dungeon increase, in pro- 
portion to the time he hath occupied it — for 
among the race of human beings confined to 
this narrow spot — how few are they who are 
hardy enough to break their prison ? 

LET 



tl^t jQotoer of ^^mpatl)^. 127 

LET us watch over all we do with an eye 
of scrutiny — the world will not examine the 
causes that gave birth to our actions — they 
do not weigh the motives of them' — they do 
not consider those things which influence our 
conduct — but as that conduct is more or less 
advantageous to society, they deem it mad- 
ness or wisdom, or folly or prudence — Re- 
member this — 

Adieu ! 



LETTER 



128 t^t ^oiiaet of S)Bmpatl)?, 



LETTER LIX. 
Harrington to Worthy. 

Boston. 

YOU are egregiously mistaken, 
argue as you will. — My perceptions are as 
clear as any one's — The burden that is at 
first heavy and inconvenient, galls us as we 
proceed — it soon becomes intolerable, we 
sink under its weight, and lie gasping in the 
publick way long before night. 

AS to the world — who strives to please 
it, will be deservedly rewarded — ;he will reap 
his labour for his pains — Let it judge of my 
conduct. I despise its opinion — Independency 
of spirit is my motto— I think for myself. 

LETTER 



t\)e fototr of ^^mpatl)^. 129 



LETTER LX. 

Harrington to Worthy. 

Boston. 

HOW vain is the wish that 
sighs for the enjoyment of worldly happiness. 
Our imagination dresses up a phamton to 
impose on our reason : As Pygmalion loved 
the work of his own hand — so do we fall in 
love with the offspring of our brain. But 
our work illudes our embrace — we find no 
substance in it -and then fall a-weeping 
and complain of disappointment. Miserable 
reasoners are we all. 

WHY should I mourn the the loss of Har- 
riot 



1 30 t^t ^oinet of ^^mpat^ip. 

rio^ any longer ? Such is my situation — in 
the midst of anxiety and distress, I com- 
plain of what cannot be remedied. — 1 lament 
the loss of that which is irretrievable : So on 
the sea-beat shore, the hopeless maid, unmind- 
ful of the storm, bewails her drowned lover. 



LETTER 



t\)t |0otoei: of ^^mpatl)?. 1 3 1 



LETTER LXI. 

Worthy to Harrington. 

Bellevtew. 

I THANK you for your letters, 
but I wish you had something better for the 
subje.ct of them — the sad repetition of your 
feelings and sorrows, pains me exceedingly — 
I promise to be with you soon — perhaps be- 
fore you can receive this letter. 

WHATEVER concerns my friend, most 
sensibly affects me — You, Harrington^ are 
the friend of my heart, and nothing has so 
much grieved me as the story of your mis- 
fortunes. 

IT 



132 tE'\)e poiotv of ^^mpatlj^. 

IT is a maxim well received, and seems to 
be admitted an article in the moral creed of 
mankind, " that the enjoyments of life do not 
compensate the miseries." Since, then, we 
are born to suffer, and pain must attend us 
in all the stages of our journey, let us philoso- 
phically welcome our companion. The most 
eligible plan we can adopt, is to be contented 
in the condition that Providence hath as- 
signed us. Let us trust that our burden will 
not be heavier than we can bear — When we 
adopt this plan, and are sensible we have 
this trust, our lesson is Complete — we have 
learned all — we are arrived to the perfection 
of sublunary happiness. 

DO not think I am preaching to you a 
mere sermon of morality — let me impress 
your mind with the folly of repining, and the 
blessing of a contented mind. 

LET me intreat you not to puzzle your 

brain 



t^t ^omt of §)^mpatt)s. 133 

brain with vain speculations — if you are dis- 
posed to argue, do not put foolish cases that 
never existed — take the light of facts, and 
reason from them. 

WHEN we are surrounded with miseries 
of life — the baseness of false friends — the 
malice of enemies — when we are inveloped 
in those anxious fears, the result of too much 
sensibility, human nature feels a degree of 
oppression, which, without a manly exertion 
of reason and 'this practical philosophy, 
would be intolerable. I have heard you men- 
tion St. Evremond as a philosopher of this 
kind. Arm yourself with his prudence and 
fortitude — he, though in exile — though re- 
duced, almost to penury, and labouring under 
the disadvantages of a bad constitution, lived 
to be a very old man ; he established a course 
of rational pleasures — for when the mind is 
employed, we regret the loss of time — we 
become avaricious of life. 

WHEN 



134 ^l)f potoer of ^^mpatl)^, 

WHEN misfortunes come upon us without 
these consolations, it is hard, I acknowledge, 
to buffet the storm — it is then human frailty 
is most apparent — there is nothing left to 
hope — Reason is taken from the helm of 
life — and Nature — helpless, debilitated 
Nature — lost to herself, and every social 
duty, splits upon the rocks of despair and 
suicide. We have seen several examples of 
this — By exploring and therefore shunning 
the causes, let us avoid the catastrophe. 

THE pensive and melancholy will muse 
over the ordinary accidents of life, and swell 
them, by the power of imagination, to the heav- 
iest calamities. Hence we find a treacherous 
friend will sensibly affect some men, and a 
capricious mistress will destroy a real lover : 
Hence people in misfortune frequently con- 
strue the slightest inattention into neglect 
and insult, and deem their best friends false 

and 



t^t potoer of ^^mpatlip. 1 3 5 

and ungrateful. The sting of ingratitude, 
deeply pierces the heart of sensibility. 

THE passions and affections which govern 
mankind are very inconsistent. Men, con- 
fined to the humble walks of life, sigh for the 
enjoyment of wealth and power, which, when 
obtained, become loathsome — The mind un- 
accustomed to such easy situation, is discon- 
tented, and longs to be employed in those 
things in which it was formerly exercised. 

THE greatest rulers and potentates become 
unhappy — they wish for the. charms of soli- 
tude and retirement, which, when attained, 
become more irksome than their former con- 
dition — Charles the Fifth, of Spain, resolved 
to taste the pleasures of a recluse life, by ab- 
dicating the "throne — he soon found his im- 
agination had deceived him, and -repented of 
the step he had taken. This lazy life, when 

compared 



136 &)t poioer of ^ympatl)^, 

compared to the business and grandeur of a 
court, became tasteless and insipid. — " The 
day," says a historian, " he resigned his crown 
to his son, was the very day in which he re- 
pented making him such a present." 

\ IT is a great art to learn to be happy tin the 
\ state in which we are placed — I advise you 
to mingle in the concerns of your acquain- 
tances — be cheerful and undisturbed, nor 
give yourself up to those gloomy ideas which 
lend only to make you more wretched — If 
such obtrude themselves, avoid being alone — 
I had rather been a dupe to my imagination 
than sacrifice an hour's calmness to my sensi- 
bility or understanding. Determine to be 
happy, and you will be so — 

God be with you ! 



LETTER 



&)t potocr of ^^mpatl)^. 137 



LETTER LXII. 
Harrington to Worthy. 



Boston. 



WHEN we seek for diversion 
in any place, and there is nothing to be found 
that we wish, it is certainly time to depart. 

TOMORROW I go— There is nothing 
here that can calm the tumult of my soul — I 
fly from the sight of the human countenance 
^ I fly from the face of day — I fly from 
books — Books that could always ch^er me in 
a melancholy moment, are now terrifying — 
They recall scenes to my recollection that are 
past - — pleasant scenes that I am never more 

to 



138 tE^lje ipotuec of ^rmpatlj?. 

to enjoy. They present pictures of futurity 
— I just opened a book, and these words that 
I read: — "The time of my fading is near, 
and the blast that shall scatter my leaves. 
Tomorrow shall the traveller come, he that 
saw me in my beauty shall come ; his eyes 
shall search the field, but they will not find 
me." 

THESE words pierce me to the quick — 
they are a dismal prospect of my approaching 
fate. 

' TOMORROW I shall go — But oh! 
whither .'' — 

O ! MY friend, when we find nothing we 
desire in this world, it is time to depart. To 
live is a disgrace — to die is a duty. 

Farewel . 



LETTER 



t\)e |0otDcr of ^^mpat^^. 139 



* LETTER LXIII. 

V 

Worthy to Mrs. Hohnes. 

Boston. 

I ARRIVED in town last eve- 
ning — you desire rpe to write you a state- 
ment of affairs as I should find them here — 
and of my marriage with the amiable Myra — 
I promised to obey — but how little do we 
know of the termination or consequences of 
the most probable event ! 

I SAW my beloved — her eyes were yet 
heavy and smarting with weeping for the 
death of Harriot — and this, once the house 
of joy and cheerfulness, is turned into the 

house 



I40 t\)t potocr of ^^mpatljy. 

house of mourning. My unfortunate friend 
had just then fallen into a calm sleep, and it 
was impossible to see him ^ it was what I 
very much desired — but it was the wish of 
the family that I should desist for the present 
— he had not slept the evening before — he 
had been heard walking across his chamber 
all the night, with little intermission, often- 
times talking to himself in a passionate tone 
of voice. 

THIS melancholy account deeply affected 
me — and I parted from my beloved, praying 
Heaven to give her consolation, and to be 
the support of my disordered friend. 

IT is with difficulty I bring myself to the 
serious and the painful employment of being 
the informer of unwelcome tidings — my heart 
feels the wound — vainly it tells me my friend 
is no more — my hand reluctantly traces — 
my friend — my Harrington is no more. 

EARLY 



Z))t l^oiotv of ^^mpatt)^, 141 

EARLY thismdrhing I was surprised with 
a visit, from a gentleman, whom I had form- 
erly seen at Myrds — it was the same neigh- 
bour who informed Harrington of his affinity 
to Harriot — he found a difficulty in his 
utterance — he told me, with trembling lips, 
my young friend Harrington was dead — 
" He has killed himself," said I — he asked 
me if I had heard the news — I told him my 
heart presaged it. 

WHEN any uncommon event happens to 
us, we often have a presentiment of it — The 
circumstances of his death are these : — At 
midnight the gentleman heard the report of 
the pistol, and went into the house — he 
found the unhappy youth wheltering in his 
blood — few signs of life remained — the ball 
had entered his brain — the surgeon came, 
but in a few hours he was cold. A few 
friends were requested to attend — and this 

gentleman 



142 tf)t ^otDcr of §>)?mpatl)^. 

gentleman had called upon me, by desire of 
Myra. 

IT is impossible to describe the distress of 
the family and connexions — I shall leave it 
to your imagination. 

A LETTER that he had written for me, 
laid unsealed upon the table, and The Sorrows 
of Werter was found lying by his side. I 
send you the letter — it appears to have been 
written at intervals, and expresses the dis- 
order and agitation of his mind. 

Adieu ! 



LETTER 



t^t ^oiatt of ^^mpatl)^. 143 



LETTER LXIV. 

Harrington to Worthy. 

HARRIOT is dead --and the 
world to me is a dreary desert — I prepare to 
leave it^ the fatal pistol is charged — it lies 
on the table by me, ready to perform its duty 
— but that duty is delayed till I take my last 
farewel of the best of friends. 

YOUR letter is written with the impetu- 
osity of an honest heart ; it expresses great 
sincerity and tenderness. 

I THANK you for all your good advice — 
it comes too late — O Worthy ! she is dead — 
she is gone — never to return, never again 
to cheer my heart with her smiles and her 

amiable 



144 ®l)^ poiDcr of ^^mpatlji?. 

amiable manners — her image is always be- 
fore me — and can I forget her ? No ! — She 
is continually haunting my mind, impressing 
the imagination with ideas of excellence — 
but she is dead — all that delighted me is be- 
come torpid — is descended into the cold 
grave. 

With thee 

Certain my resolution is to die ; 
How can I live without thee — How forego 
Thy converse sweet, and love so dearly join'd, 
To live again in these wild woods forlorn? 



loss of thee 
Will never from my heart — no ! no ! — I feel 
The link of nature draw me. 

From thy state 
Mine never shall be parted, bHss or woe. 



THOU hast sat out on a long journey — 
but you shall not go alone — I hasten to 

overtake 



^l)t potoer of g>^miJatt)s. 145 

overtake thee. My resolution is not to be 
diverted — is not to be shaken — I will not 
be afraid — I am inexorable — 

I HAVE just seen my father — he is de- 
jected — sullen grief is fixed upon his brow — 
he tells me I am very ill — I looked at Myra 

— she wiped her face with her handkerchief 

— perhaps they did not imagine this was 
the last time they were to behold me. 

SHE mentioned the name of Worthy, but 
my thoughts were differently engaged. She 
repeated your name, but I took no heed of it. 
Take her, my Worthy — Myra is a good girl 

— take her — comfort her. Let not my de- 
parture interrupt your happiness — perhaps 
it may for a short time. When the grass is 
grown over my grave, lead her to it, in your 
pensive walks — point to the spot where my 
ashes are deposited — drop one tear on the,. 

remembrance 



146 W\)t potoer of ^^mpatl)^. 

remembrance of a friend, of a brother — but 
I cannot allow you to be grieved — grieve 
for me ! Wretch that I am — why do I delay — 

I WISH I could be buried by the side of 
her, then should the passenger who knows 
the history of our unfortunate loves, say — 
" Here lies Harrington and his Harriot — in 
their lives they loved, but were unhappy — in 
death they sleep undivided." — Guardian 
spirits will protect the tomb which conceals 
her body — the body where every virtue 
delighted to inhabit. — 

DO not judge too rashly of my conduct — 
let me pray you to be candid, — I have taken 
advantage of a quiet moment, and written an 
Epitaph — If my body were laid by her's, the 
inscription would be pertinent. Let no one 
concerned be offended at the. moral I" havfi 
chosen to draw from our unfortunate story. 

MY 



Z^e ^olaott of ^ympatlj^. 147 

MY heart sinks within me — the instru- 
ment of death is before me — farewel ! f are- 
wel! — My soul sighs to be freed from its 
confinement — Eternal Father! accept my 
spirit — Let the tears of sorrow blot out my 
guilt from the book of thy wrath. 



LETTER 



148 tift l^otorr of ^^mpntfys. 



LETTER LXV. 
Worthy to Mrs. Holmes. 

Boston. 

WE have surmounted the per- 
formance of the last scene of our tragedy, 
with less difficulty and distress than I imag- 
ined. Great numbers crowded to see the 
body of poor Harrington; they were im- 
pressed with various emotions, for their sym- 
pathizing sorrow could not be concealed — 
Indeed a man without sensibility exhibits no 
sign of a soul. I was struck with admiration 
at the observations of the populace, and the 
justness of the character they drew of the de- 
ceased, " Alas ! " said one — '- poor youth thou 

art 



Z\)t |0otQcr of ^^mpatl)^. 149 

art gone. Thou wast of a promising genius, 
of violent passions, thou wast possessed of a 
too nice sensibility, and a dread of shame. It 
Is only such an one who would take the 
trouble to kill himself. Ah ! poor well na- 
tured, warm hearted, hot headed youth — how 
my heart bleeds for you ! We consider thee 
as the dupe of Nature, and the sacrifice of 
Seduction." The old father hears this, and 
becomes overwhelmed with shame and 
sorrow. 

THE jury which sat upon the body of our 
friend, after mature consideration, brought in 
their verdict Suicide. The rigour of the law 
was not executed -^ the body was privately 
taken away, and I saw it deposited by the 
side of his faithful Harriot. 

I SEND you inclosed a copy of the Monu- 
mental Inscription, as written by Harrington. 

I found 



I50 tl^e poSder of g>^mpat^r« 

I found it with many loose papers. It con- 
tains the story of our unfortunate friends, and 
a profitable moral is deduced from it. 

THOUGH a few weeks begin to spread 
calm over our passions, yet the recollection of 
our misfortunes will sometimes cause a mo- 
mentary agitation, as the ocean retains its 
swell, after the storms subsides. 

Adieu! 



sponumental 31nsicrt)ptton, 

THOU who shalt wander o'er these humble plains, 
Where one kind grave their hapless dust contains, 
O pass not on — if merit claim a tear. 
Or dying virtue cause a sigh sincere. 
Here rest their heads, consign'd to parent earth. 
Who to one common father ow'd their birth ; 
Unknown this union — Nature still presides, 
And Sympathy unites, whom Fate divides. 

They 



tift IBofcoer of ^^mpatt)^. 151 

They see — they love — but heav'n their passion, tries, 

Their love sustains it. but their mortal dies. 

Stranger ! contemplate well before you part, 

And take this serious counsel to thy heart : 

Does some fair female of unspotted fame, 

Salute thee, smiling, with a father's name, 

Bid her detest the fell Seducer's wiles, ■" 

Who smiles to win — and murders as he smiles. 

If ever wandering near this dark recess. 

Where guardian spirits round the ether press , 

Where, on their urn, celestial care descends, 

Two lovers come, whom fair success attends. 

O'er the pale marble shall they join their heads, 

And drink the falling tears each other sheds. 

Then sadly say, with mutual pity mov'd, 

" O ! may we never love as these' have loved." 



\Jrft^^ 




Notes. 



For many reasons it has been thought best to reprint 
this book exactly after the original copy, "verbatim et 
LITERATIM ET PUNCTUATiM " ; and although the modern 
purist may feel offended at the archaisms of orthography, 
syntax and punctuation — the last of which appears to 
have been used with rhetorical and not grammatical sig- 
nificance — , he must content himself with the fact that art 
would have lost all and science gained nothing by the 
rewriting of the above pages in the diction of today. 

Out of regard for the feelings of the descendants of 
the originals of certain characters of the novel, who are 
living today in Boston, the editor has decided to reveal 
the identity only of those of the personae who are 
already known, to a more or less extent, through the lit- 
erary history of New England. Although curiosity 
may turn away unsatisfied with the volume, yet the art 
of it all remams through considering Harrington, father 
and son, Maria and Harriot, and Mrs. Holmes nothing 
more than types and not as individuals whose true bi- 
ographies are written. ^ 

Vol. I, page 83, begins the story of " Martin " and 
" Ophelia," the real characters of which were recognized 

at 



154 Notes. 



at the time to be Mr. Perez Morton an(f)his young 
sister-inrlaw, Theodosia Francis Apthorp. In comment- 
ing on this fact in the book, Sabin writes in his " Books 
relating to America" (Vol. xv, Page 377) " This work 
created quite a sensation, and was suppressed by inter- 
ested parties. The names of Fanny Apthorp and 
Perez Morton are not yet forgotten as connected with 
the matter." 

Perez Morton was born at Plymouth, Nov. 13, 175 1. 
His father settled at Boston, and was keeper of the 
White Horse Tavern, opposite Hayward-place, and died 
in 1793. The Son entered the Boston Latin School in 
1760, and graduated at Harvard College in 1771, when 
he studied law ; but the revolutionary war prevented his 
engaging in the practice, and he took an active part in 
the cause of freedom. In 1775 he was one of the 
Committee of Safety, and in the same year became 
deputy-secretary of the province. After the war, he 
opened an office as an attorney at law, at his residence 
in State-street, on the present site of the Union Bank. 

In 1777 he married Sarah Wentworth Apthorp, at 
Quincy, noted by Paine as the American Sappho. Mr. 
Morton was a leader of the old Jacobin Club, which held 
meetings at the Green Dragon Tavern, and became a 
decided Democrat. A political poet of Boston thus 
satirizes Perez Morton : 

" Perez, thou art in earnest, though some doubt thee ! 
In truth, the Club could never do without thee ! 
My reasons thus I give thee in a trice,— 
You want their votes, and they want your advice ! 

"Thy 



Notes. 155 



" Thy tongue, shrewd Perez, favoring ears insures, — 
The cash elicits, and the vote secures. 
Thus the fat oyster, as the poet tells, 
The lawyer ate, — his clients gained the shells." 

Mr. Morton was Speaker of the House from 1806 
to 1811, and was attorney-general from 1810 to 1832; 
was a delegate from Dordhester to the convention for 
revising the State constitution, in 1820, and was vigo- 
rous in general debate. He died at Dorchester, Oct. 
14, 1837. He was an ardent patriot,, an eloquent 
speaker, of an elegant figure and polished manners. 

This Mansion, (the home of " Worthy," later the city 
residence of Mr. Perez Morton) as enlarged and embell- 
ished by its honoured proprietor, the late Charles Ap- 
thorp, Esq. was then, that is, about the middle of the 
Eighteenth Century, said to be the scene of every ele- 
gance, and the abode of every virtue. Now, (1823) its 
beautiful hall of entrance, arches, sculpture, and base- 
relief ; the grandstair-case, and its highly finished saloon, 
have been removed, or partitioned off, to accommodate 
the bank and its dependencies. 

Thomas Wentworth Earl of Strafford, the Minister, 
and favourite of Charles the First, sacrificed by that 
Monarch to his own personal safety -— was beheaded 
near the end of the reign. Charles, in his last moments, 
declared that he suffered justly for having given up the 
Earl of Strafford to popular fury. 

The near Relations of this Nobleman were the 
founders of the American Family of Wentworth. This 

family 



156 Notes. 



family being presumptive heirs to the now extinct Title 
of that Earldom of Strafford. 

These were Henry and Samuel Wentworth, the ma- 
ternal uncles of the Author, both perished before they 
had attained the age of twenty. The first, on a northern 
voyage of curiosity and improvement, was entangled 
amid floating masses of ice,. and in that situation ex- 
pired along with the whole ship's company, passengers 
and seamen. 

His young brother, Samuel Wentworth, having been 
invited to England by his noble relatives, was under the 
patronage of those, admitted as student at the Temple ; 
at which period he first met Miss Lane, the object of 
his honourable passion, and the cause of his fatal mis- 
fortune, the daughter of a great commercial house of 
that period. Her large inheritance, by her father's will, 
made dependent on the pleasure of her mercantile 
brother, to the aristocracy of whose wealth, young Went- 
worth could only oppose nobility of birth, accomplish- 
ment of mind and beauty of person, possessions which 
tl'je man of commerce held as nothing, compared with 
the superior treasures of monied interest. 

Consequently the love was prohibited, and the 
lover banished from his mistress ; who though closely 
imprisoned in her own apartment, found means to pre- 
serve an epistolary connection. The correspondence 
encreasing the enthusiasm of restricted passion, until 
every possible hope of their union being extinguished, 
a deadly vial was obtained, and the contents, equally 
divided, were at one desperate moment swallowed by 
both. Their last desire, of being buried in the same 
grave, was denied. 

These 



Notes. 157 



These frantic and too affectionate lovers, finisfied the 
short career of their miseries on the birth day of Went- 
worth, being that which completed the nineteeth year of 
his age. And it is riot irrelevant to add, that the 
brother of the lady lived to lose his immense posses- 
sions, and died desolate and distressed ; at which 
period, we trust, repentance came, and forgiveness was 
awarded. 

John, the founder of the transatlantic race of Ap- 
thorp, was a man of taste and talent in the Fine Arts ; , 
particularly those of Painting and Architecture. A 
taste and talent, which has in some instance been trans- 
mitted to his descendants even of the iifth generation. 

An ardent imagination, and an ambitious desire of 
mental improvement, led him fr©m his native country of 
Wales. And in England, he saw, loved, and married, 
Miss Ward, a celebrated beauty, with a large fortune, 
whose Portrait, by Sir Peter Lely, yet remains with her 
descendant. This portrait is distinguished by the long 
dark eyes, which that artist preferred and made fashion- 
able. 

The qualities of both parents live, and are conspic- 
uous in some of their descendants. A highly respect- 
able individual of these, whose superiority of mind may 
possibly disdain such recollections, was, in his minority, 
so transcendantly handsome, that upon a Tour through 
the Southern States, he was generally designated " The 
Eastern Angel." As he now is, the Genius of Canova 
might design that form as a model for the sublime 

statue of melancholy, since his fortunes have fallen 

like those of his race — a voluntary sacrifice to the best 

sentiments. 



158 Notes. 



sentiments, and the noblest feelings of humanity, while 
domestic bereavements coming yet nearer to his gracious 
heart have left it the prey of sorrow. 

Charles Bulfinch, Esq. of Washington, at this 
time (1823,) the National Architect, is one more evidence 
of the inestimable happmess of a good descent. 

The present Stone Chapel (corner of School and 
Tremont Streets) — >originally the King's Chapel — 
founded by Royalty, was finished by the generosity of 
individuals. Charles Apthorp, Esq. the son of John, gave 
5 cool, sterling, a very large sum for the Provinces at that 
period, about the middle of the eighteenth century. 

His Marble Monument with a very fine Latin Inscrip- 
tion, by his Son, still remains in the Chapel, which 
Monument covers the Tomb of the truly noble-minded 
race of Apthorp. 

How erst the shield, whose crested pride. 

The Crest, if not the whole Armorial Bearing, is 
thought or said to have been conferred upon the Battle 
Field by Richard. 

The shield of the Apthorp arms, which bearing a 
mullet or spur, in heraldry, with truly Welsh prepos- 
session, the family were fondly, perhaps foolishly, wont 
to trace back to the Crusades. 

Belleview was undoubtedly the Apthorp homestead 
at Quincy where Mrs. Morton passed her youth. 

In 



Notes. 159 



In the Rev. Mr. Holmes, Quincy antiquarians will 
readily recognize the Rev. Dr. Greenleaf, whose religious 
and philosophical teachings undoubtedly had great in- 
fluence on the author who was to come so near being 
his biographer. 



\The above notes are compiled principally from 
"My Mind AND Its Thoughts." — a book referred 
to in the Introduction^